28th February 2020

Players alert FIFPro to Coronavirus fears

FIFPro is concerned for the safety of players who may be exposed to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and the danger of football acting as a vehicle to spread disease. Players have contacted our member unions asking for assistance out of fear they could be made to perform in high-risk environments.

The Coronavirus is a global reality affecting all citizens, in some countries more than others, magnified by events currently unfolding in the Asian football region, where the domestic leagues of Korea and Japan have been postponed, which FIFPro welcomes. Similarly, we are pleased to see a number of matches that were due to take place next week in the AFC Champions League have been rescheduled.

We are now looking beyond next week’s AFC Champions League matches, in close co-operation with the AFC, to find appropriate longer-term solutions. Our talks with various football stakeholders also address the rescheduling of international dates, including but not limited to qualifying matches for this year’s Tokyo Olympics and 2022 FIFA World Cup.

While we understand the inconvenience this causes worldwide, the COVID-19 outbreak is bigger than football, and we applaud the willingness of competition organisers to take firm action in this delicate period. As the Coronavirus continues to spread, with new cases emerging every day, we are calling on all football stakeholders to act responsibly.

• This media release was published by the international federation for professional footballers (FIFPro) on 28 February 2020. Click here for the original.

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