FIFA has issued official player status guidelines to member associations’ that have suspended their domestic competitions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The guidelines also include temporal adjustments to the release of players for official matches during the International Match Windows from March and April heading into the next match-week in June.
FIFA has stated that due to the unique nature of prevailing situation, that has seen member associations (MA’s) postpone domestic and continental club competitions; transfers and ongoing loan deals of players shall be determined by the subsequent conclusion of the current seasons after the respective lock-downs are lifted.
“Where an agreement is due to expire at the original end date of a season, such expiry be extended until the new end date of the season,” FIFA stated.
“Where an agreement is due to commence at the original start date of a new season, such commencement be delayed until the new start date of a new season.
“In the event of overlapping seasons and/or registration periods, and unless all parties agree otherwise, priority be given to the former club to complete their season with their original squad, in order to safeguard the integrity of a domestic league, member associations competition and continental competition.”
FIFA has also clarified that all players whose contracts have been terminated due to the Covid-19 pandemic are free agents.
“As an exception to article 6 paragraph 1 of the FIFA Registration, Status and Transfer of Players, a professional whose contract has expired or been terminated as a result of COVID-19 has the right to be registered by an association outside a registration period, regardless of the date of expiry or termination,” FIFA stated.
Zurich also encouraged all member associations and stakeholders to try where possible to resolve all contractual disputes arising from the Covid-19 fallout, internally.
FIFA also asked clubs to ensure the financial adjustments brought about by the pandemic should still be of economic value for their players and staff.
Meanwhile, FIFA has said it will confer with respective confederations on resumption of international men’s, women’s, and futsal competitions that have been postponed to later dates in 2020 or rescheduled to 2021.
“On 13 March 2020, the Bureau of the FIFA Council decided that the rules which normally oblige clubs to release players to association teams will not apply for international windows in March and April. The core decision was that:
-Clubs are not obliged to release their registered players to association teams.
-If a club agrees to release a registered player to an association team, the player may decline the call-up.
-Any such decisions shall not be subject to disciplinary measure
– If a player is unable to resume duty with their club by the relevant deadline due to COVID-19, the association and/or the player shall not be subject to any future restrictions or disciplinary measures.
-The following international windows are subject to this decision:
-23-31 March 2020 (men’s international match calendar),
-6-15 April 2020 (women’s international match calendar),
-6-15April 2020 (futsal international match calendar).
“On April 6, 2020, the same decision was rendered by the Bureau regarding the next international window in June 2020 (1-9 June 2020, men’s international match calendar – 1-10 June 2020, women’s international match calendar).”