Coronavirus: FIFA boss Gianni Infantino says 'we must protect everyone in football'

"Sport in general and football, in particular, can - and I believe will - play a big part in helping our world recover," says FIFA president

FIFA president Gianni Infantino

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called on the football community to protect everyone in the game following the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.  

In a letter to every confederation and league around the world, Infantino has written: "We must do everything in our power to protect fans, players, coaches, and everyone else involved in our beautiful game.

"Most importantly, the football authorities must take all necessary measures to prevent the virus spreading to the wider community."

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Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho were among the famous football faces to join Infantino in providing advice on how best to stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic

FIFA, in partnership with the World Health Organisation, has launched a new initiative to provide practical recommendations to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

"The world football community has shown a sense of solidarity and unity in the face of this threat," wrote Infantino. "And we should continue to do the same when thinking about how we will address the consequences we will have to face for the future of our game, once this serious risk to human health is behind us.

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Speaking on The Debate, Alan Smith says the Premier League season must be completed, however long that takes

"It goes without saying that we all have to take this matter very seriously while, at the same time, remaining calm and assured in both our response and our decision making.

"FIFA will keep in regular contact with all relevant stakeholders during this difficult period and look to find in due course solutions in a spirit of cooperation, taking into account the interests of football at all levels.

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"Health first and sporting solidarity should be the key principles guiding decision-making at this important moment in time and I am sure that the whole football community will live up to the great values of our sport."

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Speaking on The Debate, QPR manager Mark Warburton says he doesn't expect the Championship season to resume on April 3 as initially proposed

FIFA's president believes the game can play a vital part in helping the "world recover" from the pandemic.

"Let's also bear in mind that sport in general and football, in particular, can - and I believe will - play a big part in helping our world recover once we have, hopefully sooner rather than later, returned to normality," he wrote.

"Challenging circumstances offer the opportunity for people to come together, show what they can do in a collective spirit, and emerge stronger and better prepared for the future. We know that this is one of those moments."

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