FIFA studying coronavirus impact on schedules, player contracts

Tuesday, 17 March 2020 00:42 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

General view of Goodison Park as the Premier League is suspended due to the number of coronavirus cases growing around the world, Soccer Football, Premier League, Coronovirus impact on the Premier League, Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain, 16 March – Action Images via Reuters


(Reuters) - World soccer governing body FIFA said on Monday that it was looking into the potential impact postponed fixtures would have on player contracts after the coronavirus outbreak suspended leagues across Europe and the rest of the world.

The big five leagues in Europe — in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France — have all been suspended, as have the Champions League and Europa League, adding to a potential fixture pile-up should the competitions resume later this year.

However, many players whose deals run until the end of the season will be out of contract after June 30, raising questions over how the ongoing league season can be completed with the current squads.

“FIFA is analysing the current situation and the potential impact it may have on all areas of football. More information will follow in due course,” a FIFA spokesperson told Reuters.

Teams such as Chelsea, who are chasing Champions League qualification, could be affected with front line players Olivier Giroud, Pedro and Willian all on contracts expiring on June 30.

The off-season transfer window is also set to open when the season ends, casting doubt over whether players will be allowed to move on before the current season reaches a conclusion.

The 24-team Euro 2020 tournament, scheduled to be held in 12 countries from June 12 to July 12, could also be pushed back a year which would create a longer window for national leagues to finish their seasons.

UEFA is being urged to prioritise domestic competitions and pressure is growing for Euro 2020 to be postponed, with representatives of European clubs and leagues joining national federations on an emergency video-conference call on Tuesday.