HOOFDDORP: The international footballers’ union has asked governing bodies to take serious consideration of the consequences during the coronavirus crisis of “travel, training and match days”.

FIFPRO has stopped short of demanding competition suspensions but it is keeping a watchful eye on developments in response to an increasing number of requests for guidance from national players’ associations.

A statement said:

Cross-border travel and attendance in and around games creates a high risk, affecting everyone from spectators and players to match officials and club staff. To provide a reliable and clear course of action which puts people and public health we ask authorities and competition organisers to take transparent, reasonable and consistent decisions across the football industry based on government advice.

Professional footballers, like other workers, are concerned about themselves and their families and friends being exposed to the Coronavirus during their daily lives. For players their exposure could come during travel, training and match days.

Any actions relating to these activities must be coordinated in close cooperation with players and their unions.

We ask that employers and competition organizers respect the wishes of players to take short-term precautionary measures including suspending training or competitions.

We support the players and their associations who have requested a suspension or postponement of football activities in their countries or regions.

As an international industry professional football is heavily affected by this situation in multiple ways. Matches behind closed doors and cancellations have a considerable effect on the revenue streams and cash flow of small and medium sized clubs.

The football industry should therefore consider extraordinary solidarity measures to protect the industry and support clubs in need through, for example, financial assistance or advanced payments.

As the situation changes, it is important to strengthen coordination among international football stakeholders, governments and public health experts in order to take the best possible course of action for our people and our industry.