FIFA president Infantino proposes ‘fewer matches & smaller squads’ in bid to ‘save’ football

Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA

Gianni Infantino has provided an insight into some of the potential measures which could be implemented moving forward to ensure that football aptly bounces back from the coronavirus pandemic.

Football at a standstill

The worldwide COVID-19 outbreak has of course been headline news across the globe for several weeks now.

As of this evening, almost 375,000 people around the planet had tested positive for COVID-19, of whom over 16,000 have sadly passed away.

The scale of the outbreak has inevitably also had major ramifications on the sporting world, with football having been hit particularly hard.

The ‘top-5’ European leagues have all been brought to a complete standstill over the course of the last fortnight, with the Champions League and Europa League postponed until further notice.

International football has also taken a major hit, with both Euro 2020 and the Copa America, which had been scheduled to take place this summer, having been pushed back until next year.

‘Take a step back’

As such, as things stand, more questions than answers surround football at the highest level moving forward.

It currently remains altogether unclear whether the 2019/20 campaign will be played to completion, what potential impact this would have on next season, and how much of a financial hit the game as a whole will take once the COVID-19 crisis has subsided.

Such concerns have left many concerned with the potential state of the sport at the top level over the years to come, a subject put to FIFA president Gianni Infantino earlier today.

Speaking in an interview with Italian outlet the Gazzetta dello Sport, Infantino was drawn on how he feels football could most efficiently recover from the issues caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

And the Swiss-Italian, after first urging all to ‘take a step back’, subsequently hinted at several initiatives which could be implemented over the seasons to come, including fewer matches and fewer squads:

‘Maybe we can reform world football by taking a step back.’

‘There needs to be an evaluation of the global impact. Let’s all together save soccer from a crisis that risks becoming irreversible.’

‘Maybe fewer squads, but more balance. Fewer, but more competitive matches to safeguard the health of the players. It’s not science fiction; let’s discuss it.’

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