The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) on Friday (March 13) recommended that all international football matches scheduled for March and April be postponed due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
According to the world football’s governing body, rather than banning matches outright, the clubs can refuse to send their players to national squad gatherings in March and April.
“All international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment,” FIFA said.
FIFA conveyed that the “final decision” on any postponements “rests with the respective competition organisers or relevant member association in case of friendlies,” adding that it was working on rescheduling qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup in both Asia and South America which have been postponed.
FIFA rules normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches, but this rule has been temporarily reversed.
“In light of the current situation concerning the coronavirus, FIFA has decided that general football rules which normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches will not apply for the up-coming international windows in March/April,” the statement said.
(With inputs from agencies)