International football might not return until 2021 due to the worldwide coronavirus epidemic, says a FIFA Vice President dealing with its effect on the sport.
Victor Montagliani, also the president of governing body of football in North and Central America and the CONCACAF, heads FIFA’s working group on handling the implications of the virus on the fixture calendar.
FIFA already postponed international games which take place in March and June. Matches scheduled for the international windows in September, October and November can be under threat too.
Asked by the Associated Press if he saw national teams playing in 2020, he said: “I personally think that might be a bit of a challenge, not so much because of just the health issues around the world and the various degrees of preparedness, but also committing to international travel as soon as we come back”.
“I think that domestic football is a priority. September is still in the books, but I would garner to say that I’m not sure it’s there on solid ground the way things are trending right now.”
Montagliani also said he does not think supporters will be able to appear in the matches as soon as domestic football resume, adding: “If we get the green light to play a football match, I highly doubt that first football match will be with fans. I just can’t see that. I think that would be taking a massive risk.