Football's governing body FIFA Monday agreed to suspend foreign players' contracts in Ukraine and Russia until June 30, thus allowing them to continue their careers elsewhere. The same measure applies to coaches and team staff.
”Following the escalation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has caused an ongoing and distressing human crisis, the FIFA Council bureau has decided - in coordination with UEFA and after consultation with various stakeholders - to temporarily amend the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) in order to provide legal certainty and clarity on a number of issues, FIFA said through a statement.
Regarding the situation in Ukraine, in order to provide players and coaches with the opportunity to work and receive a salary, and to protect Ukrainian clubs, unless the parties to the relevant contract explicitly agree otherwise, all employment contracts of foreign players and coaches with clubs affiliated to the Ukrainian federation (UAF) shall be considered automatically suspended until the end of the season in Ukraine (30 June 2022), without the need for any action by the parties to that effect, the resolution went on.
Also, in order to facilitate the departure of foreign players and coaches from Russia, in the event that the clubs affiliated to the Russian federation (FUR) do not reach a mutual agreement with their respective foreign players and coaches by or on March 10, 2022, and unless otherwise agreed in writing, the foreign players and coaches shall have the right to unilaterally suspend their employment contracts with the FUR-affiliated clubs in question until the end of the season in Russia (June 30, 2022).
The suspension of a contract will mean that players and coaches will be considered without a contract until June 30, 2022, and will therefore be free to sign a contract with another club without facing consequences of any kind.
In order to provide flexibility for players whose registration was tied to the UAF or FUR and who have left or may intend to leave the territory of Ukraine or Russia as a result of the war, foreign players whose previous registration was with the UAF or FUR will be allowed to register, even if the registration period is closed in the association of the club with which they conclude a new contract, the decision went on.
For this exception to be applicable and to protect the integrity of competitions, registration with the new club must occur on or before 7 April 2022, FIFA specifies, adding that to further protect the integrity of competitions, clubs are entitled to register a maximum of two players who have benefited from the exception.
The document also stated that ”minors fleeing Ukraine to other countries due to the armed conflict shall be deemed to meet the requirements of article 19 paragraph 2(d) of the RSTP, which exempts refugee minors from the rule preventing the international transfer of players before the age of 18.
FIFA also reiterated its condemnation of the ongoing use of force by Russia in Ukraine and calls for a rapid cessation of hostilities and a return to peace.”