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FIFA propose extending expiring contracts and 'flexible' transfer windows as result of coronavirus

17:57 BST 07/04/2020
Gianni Infantino FIFA UEFA
The organisation has offered a set of recommendations for when leagues return to play following the Covid-19 pandemic.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on world football, FIFA has announced that the organisation is open to "flexible" transfer window adjustments while recommending the extension of player contracts through to the end of the season.

Virtually all of sport is currently sidelined due to the outbreak of Covid-19, with leagues all over the world shutdown indefinitely as governments work to control and combat the virus.

As a result, football's return remains up in the air as we head into what should have been a busy summer of matches and tournaments.

With the likes of the Euro 2020, the Copa America and the Olympics postponed, the focus has been shifted to the return of club football as each individual league determines how to go about finishing their domestic seasons.

That leaves the potential for football to be played through the summer or even later, which would greatly impact player contracts and transfer movement.

As a result, FIFA  has announced that the organisation will allow transfer windows to be moved while adding that contracts should be extended until the completion of the current season as originally intended.

The statement read: "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."

On the subject of transfer windows, it said: "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.

"At the same time, FIFA will try to ensure, where possible, an overall level of coordination and will also bear in mind the need to protect the regularity, integrity and proper functioning of competitions, so that the sporting results of any competition are not unfairly disrupted."

Additionally, FIFA says that clubs and leagues should "provide fair and equitable solutions tailored to these circumstances" when it comes to balancing the loss of revenue with maintaining jobs.

That includes looking into government measures to support workers financially while adding that, if an agreement cannot be reached, FIFA will listen to cases.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly changed all the factual circumstances around football for this season," said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

"So, FIFA, together with the stakeholders, has come up with some practical ideas and proposals to tackle these new circumstances. Whilst this will not solve each and every problem, it should serve to bring a measure of stability and clarity to football for the foreseeable future.

"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."