KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: World football federation FIFA, lacking direct executive authority over national competitions, has appealed to the game, effectively, to use common sense in dealing with the administrative crisis looming because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
This includes contract extensions and rescheduling, pay cuts and transfer window shifts.
Live competition action has been halted in almost every country as well as World Cup qualifying ties and international club competitions. Euro 2020 and the Copa America have been postponed until next year as have the Tokyo Olympic Games with its men’s and women’s football competitions.
FIFA has addressed what it can through a task force chaired by Victor Montagliani, the Canadian who is a FIFA vice-president by virtue of his status as head of the central and north American CONCACAF region.
Montaglianiis also chairman of the football stakeholders committee and his taskforce includes representatives of clubs, players, leagues, national associations and confederations.
The principles agreed have been endorsed by the FIFA Council bureau which comprises president Gianni Infantino and the heads of the six regional confederations.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly changed all the factual circumstances around football for this season.
“So, FIFA, together with the stakeholders, has come up with some practical ideas and proposals to tackle these new circumstances.”
Infantino conceded that the recomemmendations “will not solve each and every problem” but hoped they offer “a measure of stability and clarity.”
In appealing to a sense of the common good, he added: “We hope that this collaborative effort 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.”
The main recommendations address issues of player contract terms, pay cuts and transfer windows, viz:
–contracts should be extended until the national season ends and new ones beginning with the new season – whenever these may be;
–clubs and players should work together to find agreements and solutions concerning pay cuts and deferrals during the period of when suspension; this includes looking at each situation in an even‑handed manner, including government measures to support clubs and players; and
—transfer windows should be moved to whichever local dates are relevant so that they fall between the end of the old season and the start of the new season.
Further background and details concerning the guidelines approved by the Bureau of the Council can be found in the COVID-19: Football Regulatory Issues document.