The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) has advised all its member associations to postpone football matches scheduled for March and April 2020 following the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.
The global football body says on its website to avoid any unnecessary health risks it recommends that all international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April be postponed until such time there is a safe and secure environment, both for players and spectators alike.
The statement adds that the final decision on this issue rests with the respective competition organisers or relevant member associations in case of friendlies.
In light of the current situation concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided that the general football rules which normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches will not apply for the upcoming international windows in March and April.
The qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup in both Asia and South America have already been postponed following consultation between FIFA and the confederations concerned.
FIFA says it will be studying the possibilities for rescheduling any postponed matches and is confident that with goodwill and flexibility from all sides, appropriate solutions will be found to allow the matches to take place in due course and with minimal disruption.
“We are working in close cooperation with relevant national and international public health authorities, most notably the World Health Organisation and taking into account the expert advice that we have received on the matter, we consider this measure and recommendation to be the most appropriate and responsible step to take under the current circumstances, “ the statement concludes.