Coronavirus: FIFA provides guidance on football regulatory issues

Several new temporary regulatory amendments have been approved by the Bureau of the FIFA Council with a view of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The FIFA administration has conducted 13 different workshops with representatives since the initial one on April 7 (Representative image).   -  Getty Images

Following the publication of recommendations and guidelines to address some of the key football regulatory issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic on April 7 (Tuesday), the FIFA administration has since conducted 13 different workshops with representatives from its member associations (MAs), confederations, the World Leagues Forum (WLF) and the European Club Association (ECA).

The active consultation process carried out has led to the identification of several new regulatory and legal issues. After further discussions within the working group examining football regulatory issues impacted by COVID-19, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has, on Thursday, approved further temporary amendments to the FIFA Regulations on the status and transfer of players and the rules governing the procedures of the players’ status committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC).

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The new temporary regulatory amendments approved by the Bureau of the Council are as follows:

  • In order to avoid any concerns regarding unemployed players, players are permitted to be registered with a maximum of three clubs and are eligible to play in official matches for three clubs during the same season.
     
  • In order to give priority to clubs to complete their 2019/20 season with their original squad, provide flexibility, and allow MAs to properly plan their football calendar, those associations following a dual-year calendar are permitted to commence the “first registration period” for the 2020/21 season prior to the completion of the 2019/20 season, subject to certain conditions.
     
  • In order to provide financial relief to parties involved in disputes before FIFA, for any claim lodged between 10 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 (both inclusive), there will be no requirement to pay an advance of costs and no procedural costs shall be ordered, and for any claim lodged prior to 10 June 2020 which has yet to be decided, the maximum amount of the procedural costs shall be equivalent to any advance of costs paid.

The new document addresses several pertinent questions arising from the regulatory issues document published by FIFA in April, particularly in relation to expiring employment contracts (agreements terminating at the end of the current season), new contracts (those already signed and due to commence at the start of the next season), employment agreements that cannot be performed as the parties originally anticipated as a result of COVID-19 and transfer windows.

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