DOHA – FIFA president Gianni Infantino mentioned for the primary time Thursday coronavirus containment measures could still be in place throughout the 2022 World Cup in Qatar however he insisted stadiums would be full.
In an interview with AFP forward of the Club World Cup closing he additionally instructed FIFA could “concretely” assist travelling followers from international locations the place vaccine rollout has been gradual or had not but begun.
“Maybe some precautionary measures have to be taken,” he mentioned in the Qatari capital Doha, the place Bayern Munich face Mexican facet Tigres on Thursday.
“We need to see how the situation looks by then. It’s very difficult to foresee now.
“It will take somewhat little bit of time, and we’ve got two years of time to come back again to some kind of normality.”
Infantino backed the Qatari hosts who in recent days have insisted the 2022 spectacle would go ahead with stadiums at 100 percent capacity, and he raised the prospect of FIFA assisting fans with vaccine requirements.
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“If sure international locations have difficulties accessing vaccines, in spite of the efforts of the World Health Organization… then we could definitely envisage serving to them concretely with some initiatives focusing on World Cup conditions,” he said.
“But two years from now I consider that, and I hope sincerely, that everybody who want to be vaccinated will be vaccinated.”
Infantino, who was speaking before reports emerged that Bayern forward Thomas Mueller has tested positive for coronavirus, praised Qatar for its execution of a bio-bubble during the Club World Cup.
Mueller would be forced to miss the final if his infection is confirmed.
“Football has resumed after being stopped in virtually all international locations in the world,” said Infantino.
“One hundred p.c safety by no means exists, however we are able to do no matter we are able to to go very near this.
“We are not the first organisation to organise an international tournament, after the outbreak of Covid-19, but it’s a first World Cup that is taking place, because in 2020 unfortunately we were not able to organise anything.”
He added that the pandemic had highlighted the challenges of a “congested” worldwide match calendar.
“The real challenge for the future will be the international match calendar — this balance between national team football and club football which is suffering even more now, during the Covid situation,” he mentioned.
Infantino additionally pledged additional assist for the worldwide sport which has lost greater than $11 billion in income for the reason that begin of the pandemic in response to FIFA estimates.