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FIFA to hold Council meeting by video conference over coronavirus

The FIFA Council meeting had originally been scheduled to take place in Asuncion in Paraguay on March 20.

A letter sent to Council members by FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura claimed concerns had been expressed by some members and one confederation about holding the event in Paraguay.

FIFA and coronavirus
FIFA boss Infantino

“Given the long travel involved for some Council members going to Asuncion, FIFA was asked by several members to move the location of the meeting, and by one confederation, whether it might be possible to hold it by videoconference,” Samoura wrote.

“This could have certain benefits, in terms of cost efficiency, environmental considerations, and also given the widespread concerns which currently exist regarding international travel on account of the spread of the coronavirus.

“The agenda of the meeting is relatively light, which means this meeting could be conducted in a time and cost-efficient manner via teleconference.”

Samoura added that members can join the meeting via their confederation’s headquarters or travel to the FIFA headquarters, with travel costs covered.

Dominguez claimed the decision to cancel the Council meeting in Asuncion amounted to “discrimination” and a “clear abuse of power” in a letter seen by Brazilian media Globo.

The CONMEBOL chief also rejected coronavirus as a reason for the Council meeting to be conducted via a teleconference.

“So far, the different international public health agencies have not detected any cases of contagion due to this disease in South America, even less in Paraguay, a fact that is unfortunately distant from the reality of other continents,” Dominguez said.

“I believe that mentioning the coronavirus as a factor for not holding the meeting in Paraguay lacks consistent and rigorous foundations proper to an organization that governs the destinies of international football.”

Dominguez also highlighted how distance had not previously been cited as a concern for recent Council meetings in Miami, Shanghai and Moscow.

The decision was defended by Samoura, who expressed a hope that despite an “understandable initial disappointment” it would be accepted.

The move comes shortly after the UEFA Executive Committee and the CONMEBOL Council signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to replace the agreement that was originally put in place in 2012.

The MoU was claimed to provide assistance and support between UEFA and CONMEBOL and their respective Member Associations in establishing and implementing projects and activities relating to things such as education, training, technical development and refereeing, as well as the promotion and development of grassroots, youth and women’s football.

read also; Serie A: Lazio on Juve’s heels, Roma back winning amid coronavirus lockdown

Other aspects include the organisation of football competitions for men, women and youth, as well as futsal; marketing, legal and social responsibility matters; safety and security; and the promotion of ethical and good governance principles in football.

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