​FIFA President Gianni Infantino Suggests Reducing Squads and Number of Games

This tv grab from from World Health Organization (WHO) website shows FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaking during a virtual news briefing to launch a WHO and FIFA joint awareness campaign led by world-renowned footballers to follow five key steps to stop the spread of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on March 23, 2020.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino says football should consider reducing squad sizes and the number of games played as part of post-coronavirus reforms to the beautiful game.

COVID-19 has seen domestic seasons suspended across the globe, while the Champions League and Europa League finals have both been postponed.

The 2020 European Championships have also been delayed until 2021, as have the Tokyo Olympics.

The current situation has left football in a state of uncertainty, with question marks remaining over the impact on scheduling, logistics and administration for the rest of the season and beyond.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport about how football can bounce back following the delays to the fixture schedule, Infantino made the surprisingly bold suggestion of fewer games.

He is quoted as saying: "Maybe we can reform world football by taking a step back.

"There needs to be an evaluation of the global impact. Let's all together save soccer from a crisis that risks becoming irreversible.

"Maybe fewer squads, but more balance. Fewer, but more competitive matches to safeguard the health of the players. It's not science fiction; let's discuss it."

Historically, Infantino has championed moves that have added to the already heaving football calendar rather than reducing it.

During his tenure as FIFA president, the World Cup has been planned to expand from 32 to 46 teams from 2026 onwards, while the Club World Cup has been converted into a 24-team summer tournament originally scheduled to commence in 2021.

In order to combat the spread of coronavirus, FIFA has donated more than £8m to the World Health Organisation.

Speaking following FIFA donation, Infantino said [via Sky Sports]: "What I think this virus has shown to all of us is two things. One is how vulnerable we are, and the other is how global the world has become.

"Exceptional situations require exceptional measures, and global problems require global solutions.

"We have to make sure that we recover from this by bringing the entire world together as one, and remind everyone that we are all one kind; the human kind."

Meanwhile, UEFA are aiming for all domestic European seasons to conclude by the end of June, with the PFA now considering completing the Premier League, EFL and WSL seasons behind closed doors. 
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