Player contracts could be extended and the transfer window moved under recommendations made by FIFA to mitigate the huge disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
With most football across the planet on indefinite lockdown amid the spread of COVID-19, the game’s global governing body put together a taskforce aimed at tackling some of the most pressing issues.
Among them was the matter of player contracts, which generally coincide with the calendar of the season, meaning many professionals will see their terms expire before the delayed 2019-20 campaign can be completed.
FIFA has recommended extending contracts, which would in turn delay the initiation of any terms that would have come into force at the start of next season.
Furthermore, the body said it would be “flexible” with regards to the dates of the next transfer window for respective leagues, such that they can still fall between the end of this season and the start of the next.
President Gianni Infantino hopes the proposals will “serve to bring a measure of stability and clarity to football for the foreseeable future”.
A statement explained: “Expiring player contracts usually end when the season ends, with a termination date that coincides with the end of the season.
“With the current suspension of play in most countries, 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.
“This should be in line with the original intention of the parties when the contract was signed and should also preserve sporting integrity and stability.
“A similar principle applies to contracts due to begin when the new season starts, meaning the entry into force of such contracts is delayed until the next season actually does start.
“With regard to transfer windows, again, it is necessary to adjust the normal regulatory position to the new factual circumstances.
“Accordingly, FIFA will be flexible and will allow the relevant transfer windows to be moved so they fall between the end of the old season and the start of the new season.”
Infantino added: “We hope that this collaborative effort, under the leadership of FIFA, can provide a positive example of how football can come together and show unity, solidarity and a spirit of compromise in order to face the challenging times ahead.
“But before these times come, one thing must be clear to everyone, especially now: health comes first, well before football.”
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