Football: Qatar World Cup games will play to full stadiums, Fifa boss says

The Al-Janoub Stadium is one of the locations to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.
The Al-Janoub Stadium is one of the locations to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (REUTERS) - World Cup matches will play to full stadiums in Qatar next year, global soccer body Fifa president Gianni Infantino said on Monday (Feb 1).

"I am very, very confident (it) will be incredible, will have the same magic, uniting the world," he told a virtual meeting in Geneva. "We will be back to where we have to be."

World Cup players were not a priority group for vaccines against Covid-19, he said.

Fifa also said it is joining with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in their campaign for "fair access to Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics".

Infantino and former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen appeared at a WHO news conference on Monday to launch the awareness campaign.

"We all have to play our part in the battle against the coronavirus. We are also calling on the international community to act together to ensure a level playing field in relation to access to vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests across the globe," Infantino said.

Fifa will launch their campaign during this month's Club World Cup in Doha with a series of promotional videos featuring prominent players and coaches in the tournament.

Owen is one of the former greats who will join in the campaign. "It is important that football remains in tune with society and plays a role in addressing issues that affect us all," he said.

Infantino said Fifa would continue to support efforts and good practice.

"Children all over world listen maybe listen more if Michael Owen or other legends say 'you have to wash your hands', than a big personality of politics or of health or a doctor," the Swiss-Italian added.