Coronavirus: Player, coach contracts should be extended – FIFA

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FIFA, the World governing body of football, has presented an internal document to its coronavirus working group and one of the recommendations in the document is the extension of the contracts of players and coaches across domestic leagues in the world.

The document wants club owners to extend the contract of the players and coaches in their clubs until the end of the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic which has halted football season across all major leagues in the world.

“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”, the FIFA document which was retrieved by Reuters said.

The document which is due to be discussed by members of FIFA’s Working Group is also advocating that the transfer windows should be changed in line with the new season dates. It also wants club owners, managers and players to have an understanding of payments of salaries in this period where there is no footballing action.

Though the discussion on the document should have held on Thursday, March 26, 2020, as at the time of publishing this report, there was no evidence that the coronavirus working group has held any discussion on it.

The world governing body of football set up the working group on March 18, 2020, to “assess the need for amendments or temporary dispensations to the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players’ to protect contracts for both players and clubs and adjusting player registration periods”, a statement from FIFA said.

“This work has already started and will be conducted in consultation with all key stakeholders, including confederations, member associations, clubs, leagues and players,” the statement added.

Another Headache for FIFA

FIFA President Gianni Infantino
Fifa president Gianni Infantino

Recall that most major leagues across the world have been called off since the outbreak of the COVID-19 became a pandemic. The suspension of those leagues will greatly affect the run of football season in the affected leagues and other international football competitions.

The suspension caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 could mean that most leagues would have to end earlier than usual or the suspended season could affect the new season when the pandemic is over and footballing actions resume.

Fortunately, the FIFA document has made provisions for this situation. “In case of overlapping seasons and/or registration periods, and unless all parties agree otherwise, priority is given to the former club to complete their season with their original squad, in order to safeguard the integrity of a domestic league championship”, the FIFA document said.

The world would be waiting to see how FIFA would ensure that domestic clubs across the world successfully structure the suspended season and the coming season in such a way that it won’t be to the detriment of any club or a certain group of people.

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