FIFA will allow foreign players in Russia to break their contracts

After deciding that Russian teams cannot play international football for an indefinite period due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, ...


After deciding that Russian teams cannot play international football for an indefinite period due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, football’s governing body now plans to announce that foreign players contracted by Russian teams can suspend their contracts and relocate – at least temporarily.

The decision will affect around 100 players, who will be able to put aside their Russian contracts and sign with new clubs until June 30. The measure stops below what the groups representing the players and the world leagues had requested. In a joint letter, reviewed by The New York Times, FIFPro, the world’s largest players’ union, and the World Leagues Forum, an umbrella organization for more than 40 competitions, asked FIFA, the world governing body of the football, that the athletes be allowed to leave Russia. permanently.

The request has created an awkward situation for FIFA. The organization broke precedent when it decided to punish Russia for its actions in Ukraine – including banning the Russian national team from participating in this year’s World Cup qualifiers – but allowing players to break their contracts, especially outside of football’s traditional winter and summer windows, was potentially far more problematic.

Discussions over the weekend between player groups and FIFA, which also included lawyers from European football’s governing body UEFA, and club representatives, failed to reach a consensus, officials said. afraid to set a precedent. Instead, FIFA has ruled that players who wish to leave Russian teams can do so but must return after June 30.

An official statement is expected on Monday. In their letter, FIFPro and the league group suggested that some players were no longer comfortable playing for Russian teams after the invasion of Ukraine.

“These foreign players may rightly consider that they no longer wish to represent a Russian team and should be able to immediately terminate their contract with their employer without incurring any sanction from international bodies and register with a new club without being restricted .by transfer period regulations,” the letter reads.

According to local rules, Russian clubs can have up to eight foreign players, called legionnaires, on their rosters. Current Russian champions Zenit Saint Petersburg have five Brazilians, a Colombian, a Croat and a player from Kazakhstan in their squad.

At least one club, Krasnodar, announced last week that it would allow its foreign players and coaches to suspend their contracts. His German coach, Daniel Farke, the former manager of English Premier League club Norwich, resigned less than two months into his contract without overseeing a single game. But foreign players continued to adapt to Russian teams in the latest round of domestic league matches at the weekend.

Russia’s declaration of war exposed loopholes in the statutes under which sports organizations like FIFA are organized. After the invasion began and worldwide condemnation, lawyers and FIFA officials raced to find a way to take action that might be justified under its regulations. At first, officials proposed measures that did not result in an outright ban: Russia was to be banned from playing on its soil and using its flag and even its name. But that punishment crumbled within 24 hours when opponents Russia – and a dozen other countries – announced they would refuse to share ground with Russia where and when matches were to be played.

A day later, FIFA expelled Russian teams and their clubs from world football. But his lawyers are already preparing for a fight over the decision. The Russian football federation has requested an expedited hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport so that a decision can be made before March 24, when it was supposed to host Poland in World Cup qualifiers.

Russia argued that FIFA lacked the legal capacity to eject him from the competition.

FIFA officials are privately concerned about the case, knowing that Russia may be able to test the legitimacy of the decision. FIFA’s argument should be based on the organisation’s supremacy as the organizer of the World Cup to ensure the smooth running of the tournament and ensure the safety and security of its participants.

Russia has already approached potential arbitrators for the case. (Both parties can appoint one, with the chairperson of the arbitration panel being appointed by the tribunal.) The hearing, regardless of the outcome, is likely to lead to extensive scrutiny by the tribunal, a largely opaque body that holds most of its hearings in camera.

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Newsrust - US Top News: FIFA will allow foreign players in Russia to break their contracts
FIFA will allow foreign players in Russia to break their contracts
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