Football

Fifa recommends that contracts be extended due to virus: Report

Contracts for players and coaches should be extended until the end of the delayed domestic seasons, according to an internal Fifa document presented to its Coronavirus Working Group.

The confidential document, seen by Reuters, also recommends allowing transfer windows to be changed in accordance with new season dates and urges clubs and players to work together to find solutions to salary payments during stoppages.

The document is due to be discussed by members of Fifa's working group today. No decision on the issues has yet been taken by Fifa.

Football's governing body set up the working group on March 18 and said in a statement that it will "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 adjust player registration periods".

Most domestic and international football competitions around the world have been suspended due to the pandemic and international tournaments such as Euro 2020 and the Copa America have been postponed.

While domestic leagues are hoping to resume when the threat from the virus has receded, concrete start dates have yet to be fixed.

That leaves the issue of expiring player contracts, which are usually timed to finish at the end of a given season, as a potential headache.

The key suggestion to the working group in the document seen by Reuters is that "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 same approach would apply to deals for next season, with their start date delayed in accordance with the shifting calendar.

The risk of some domestic divisions starting and finishing earlier or some national leagues having a different start date to other countries is also tackled in the document.

Transfer windows, fixed around the end and start of the seasons, will also need to be adjusted to fit in with altered season dates. The document suggests such changes should be allowed, so long as they do not exceed the maximum 16-week period. - REUTERS

Football