Dear Football Friends,
As you are all aware, the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus disease COVID−19 a pandemic.
Under these circumstances, we must now 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.
In partnership with the World Health Organization, we are launching awareness building initiatives designed to provide practical recommendations and steps to tackle the spread of COVID-19. I highly recommend you to also, at your level, use the power of football to send out and spread these key messages.
As a reminder, the WHO recommendations for preventive and general precaution are as follows:
• Wash or sanitise your hands frequently, especially before eating and after contact with people.
• Avoid touching your face, in particular eyes, nose and mouth. This can prevent the virus from entering your body.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing and use the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of it after use.
• Avoid close contact (within 1 metre / 3 feet), especially with people who display symptoms of the virus, such as cough or fever.
• Stay at home if you feel unwell, develop fever or other respiratory symptoms.”
Thus far, the world football community has shown a sense of solidarity and unity in the face of this threat and we should continue to do the same when thinking about how to address the consequences we will have to face for the future of our game, once this serious risk to human health is behind us.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep safe and take care of each other!
Yours in football,