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FIFA Opens Special Transfer Window For Foreign Players And Coaches In Russia And Ukraine

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FIFA Opens Special Transfer Window For Foreign Players And Coaches In Russia And Ukraine

FIFA has opened a special transfer window to allow foreign players and coaches to temporarily leave Ukrainian and Russian clubs and sign for new teams.

Football’s world governing body had come under pressure to bring in measures to help foreign players and coaches stranded in the two countries, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Monday, FIFA announced its decision to temporarily suspend the contracts of foreign players and coaches at Ukrainian clubs until the end of June.

FIFA have brought in the temporary measures to protect foreign players in Ukraine and Russia (Image: PA)
FIFA have brought in the temporary measures to protect foreign players in Ukraine and Russia (Image: PA)
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Meanwhile, foreign players and coaches at Russian teams will have the right to suspend their contracts until the end of June if they do not come to a mutual agreement with their clubs.

“The suspension of a contract as per the paragraphs above will mean that players and coaches will be considered ‘out of contract’ until 30 June 2022 and will therefore be at liberty to sign a contract with another club without facing consequences of any kind,” read a FIFA statement.

Players and coaches must register with their new clubs before April 7, and they will be allowed to join “even if the registration period is closed at the association of the club with which they conclude a new contract”.

FIFPRO has criticised the temporary measures as being 'too timid' (Image: PA)
FIFPRO has criticised the temporary measures as being 'too timid' (Image: PA)
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FIFA have stated that clubs can only register a maximum of two players who have benefited from the exception, “to further protect the integrity of competitions”.

However, the temporary measures have been criticised as being “unsatisfactory” by FIFPRO, the body which represents more than 65,000 professional football players worldwide.

"The decision... to allow foreign players to only suspend their contracts and thus only temporarily leave Russian clubs is too timid," FIFPRO said in a statement.

"It will be hard for players to find employment for the remainder of the season with uncertainty looming over them and, within a few weeks, they will be in a very difficult situation once again.

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Daniel Farke is among a group of foreign players and coaches to have already left their Russian clubs (Image: PA)
Daniel Farke is among a group of foreign players and coaches to have already left their Russian clubs (Image: PA)

"It is unsatisfactory even for players who are tied to short-term contracts in Russia – where contracts typically end in December - and who may not want or be able to return after 30 June 2022... FIFPRO communicated to FIFA last week that these players should be allowed to terminate their contracts."

Russian clubs have already seen a number of foreign players and coaches leave, with former Norwich manager Daniel Farke quitting Krasnodar and Markus Gisdol leaving Lokomotiv Moscow.

It comes after FIFA and UEFA suspended Russia's national and club teams from all international competitions until further notice, in response to the invasion.

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Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: FIFA, Russia, Ukraine, Football

Rory O'Callaghan
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