“I am concerned,” Infantino said of the congested World Cup qualifiers which Asia is skipping until next year. “This is obviously a real problem especially if the pandemic doesn’t stop or get weaker, or we don’t start playing in a normal way.”
FIFA already added extra dates for national team games in January 2022 to catch up, and “if need be, we must find other windows,” its president said.
Infantino also suggested playing qualifiers “in one venue instead of home and away” and squeezing three games instead of two into a 10-day international period.
European national teams will play three games in each of October and November to complete the Euro 2020 playoffs and Nations League groups this year. Its World Cup qualifying groups start in March.
The smaller Club World Cup — six continental champions plus the host nation’s league winner — was being staged for a second year by Qatar to prepare for World Cup hosting.
“We certainly want to see if we can keep it,” Infantino said.
Only Bayern Munich has qualified internationally after winning UEFA’s Champions League last month.
The Asian Champions League also resumed this week and aims for a final in the second half of December.
Even if all FIFA competition games can be played as scheduled, the FIFPro union wants to let players opt out of their obligation to report for national team duty.
FIFA made concessions ahead of Europe’s return to national team action in September if players were affected by travel limits or mandatory quarantine periods.
“There are good reasons why almost all governments around the world have strict travel restrictions which suggests it (South America) is still an unsafe environment,” Jonas Baer-Hofmann, FIFPro general secretary, said in an interview on Friday.
“The concept that (players) might be sanctioned for breaking a rule … to protect the health of themselves and their families can’t be serious,” he said.
Infantino said FIFA plans to publish a health protocol next week for games in South America.
“Health will be the top, top, top priority,” he said. “We’ll never put at risk the health of anyone.”
AP Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris in London contributed to this report
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