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Contract chaos looms as free agents will be asked to stay at clubs

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

18:34 26 Mar 2020

FIFA, clubs and agents could be set for a three-way collision course if proposals from world football's governing body get rubber-stamped. 

It's reported that FIFA will seek players to stay at their current clubs even if they're out of contract in the summer, with seasons set to finish beyond June 30.

COVID-19 has led to a global football shutdown, with most European leagues unable to return to action until April 30 at the earliest.

The Football Association have already waived the traditional seasonal full-stop of June 1 in order to get the English leagues completed.

In all likelihood, many seasons will need to play after June 30 to even approach a finish.

This would throw up a quandary for many clubs, who ordinarily contract players until June 30.

The likes of David Silva at Manchester City, Chelsea trio Olivier Giroud, Pedro and Willian, and Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana are all due to become free agents this summer.

Indeed, Pedro has already confirmed he will be leaving Stamford Bridge when his deal expires.

But The Times claim to have seen a FIFA document that describes the coronavirus pandemic as a “force majeure”, which basically means an unforeseen event preventing a contract from being fulfilled.

They want to stop players from leaving when contracts expire, and even stop already agreed-upon transfers until seasons are finished.

They say the July 1 to June 30 contract span are only so because of the timings of an ordinary football season adding that it's "the true intention of all parties" when those contracts are written.

Loan deals that are due to expire at the end of the season are also set to run until a season's completion.

FIFA's top brass have been meeting today to discuss the measures and how best to implement them.

Effectively this will see transfer windows move, which FIFA approves of in this exceptional circumstance once they adhere to a 16-week span.

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Read more about

Adam Lallana Chelsea Coronavirus Covid-19 David Silva FIFA Liverpool Manchester City Olivier Giroud Pedro Transfer Window Transfers Willian

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