Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 8 August 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Fifa gives green light to extend player contracts and transfer window flexibility

The guidelines were endorsed by the Fifa Bureau - a scaled down version of its decision-making Council

Fifa has approved guidelines to help clubs through the financial implications caused by the coronavirus pandemic. AFP
Fifa has approved guidelines to help clubs through the financial implications caused by the coronavirus pandemic. AFP

Fifa has approved guidelines recommending clubs extend players' contracts set to expire in June and said it will allow transfer windows to be moved to help clubs through the financial difficulties being caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The guidelines were endorsed by the Fifa Bureau - a scaled down version of its decision-making Council - on Tuesday.

World football's governing body also said it would encourage clubs and players "to work together to find agreements and solutions during the period when football is suspended" and with clubs facing an unprecedented loss of revenue.

The coronavirus has brought football to a standstill around the world, with domestic leagues put on hold and major tournaments such as Euro 2020 and the Copa America, postponed until next year.

European soccer body Uefa has said that it wants the 2019/20 season to be brought to a conclusion on the pitch, even if that means extending it into August.

"It is now obvious that the current season will not end when people thought it would. Therefore, it is proposed that contracts be extended until such time that the season does actually end," said Fifa.

Similarly, Fifa said that it would be flexible with transfer windows and allow them to be moved "so they fall between the end of the old season and the start of the new season."

On the issue of pay cuts for players and coaches - a major controversy in England, Italy and Portugal - Fifa said the parties had to find "fair and equitable solutions" with a view to protecting jobs and achieving "a reasonable balance of interests between players and clubs."

Where cases ended up at Fifa, the global body said it would look at whether the club made a genuine attempt to reach agreement with the players and consider the club's finances, the players' income and whether all players had been treated equally.

Updated: April 7, 2020 10:16 PM

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