FIFA president 'confident' World Cup will have full stadiums

FIFA president Gianni Infantino ‘very confident’ World Cup in Qatar WILL be played in front of full stadiums and insists that Covid-19 ‘will be defeated’ by the time it starts in November 2022

  • Stadiums have not been full since the start of the first lockdown last year
  • FIFA president Gianni Infantino is confident World Cup stadiums will be full
  • He added that Covid-19 will be ‘defeated’ by the time the tournament starts

FIFA president Gianni Infantino is confident next year’s World Cup will be played in front of full stadiums.

The sporting world has been severely impacted by the coronavirus-pandemic, with sporting events either being closed to fans, or with very few supporters allowed to attend since the first lockdown. 

But Infantino, who attended a WHO briefing to launch a join campaign to promote fair access to vaccines, said he was confident stadiums would be full at the tournament which takes place in Qatar. 

Gianni Infantino says he’s confident ‘Covid will be defeated’ by the time of the Qatar World Cup

He said: ‘I am very, very confident (it) will be incredible, will have the same magic, uniting the world. We will be back to where we have to be.’

The tournament is due to be held in Qatar in November and December 2022 and will feature 32 nations.

‘COVID will be defeated by then. If in two years’ time we are not there yet, we will all have a bigger problem than a World Cup.’

Qualifying games for the tournament have already begun in Asia and South America and are due to start in Europe in March.

Infantino was speaking at a WHO briefing to launch a joint campaign over Covid-19 vaccines

Asked about the wisdom of holding international games in the current situation, Infantino said those games would take place under a ‘clear health protocol which would not put at risk the health of anyone’.

‘It is always a balance that we have to take but we need to respect the decisions of governments all over the world. The situation is very, very different all over the world.

‘We will monitor the situation in the coming weeks, we can see the situation is evolving week by week.

‘The international games will be held in March; by then we will assess the situation and see where we can play and in what conditions but we will certainly not take any risks with the health of anyone when we play football,’ he said.

He believes games at the Qatar World Cup next year will be played in front of full stadiums

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