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FIFA confirm changes to season dates, player contracts and transfer window

FIFA confirm changes to season dates, transfer window
© Reuters
FIFA confirm that expiring player contracts and the summer transfer window will be altered to fall in line with new season dates as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

FIFA have confirmed that expiring player contracts and the summer transfer window will be altered to fall in line with new season dates as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Football has been brought to a complete halt indefinitely almost everywhere in the world in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has claimed the lives of almost 80,000 people around the globe.

The football season usually ends on June 30 and begins again on July 1, with player contracts following the same pattern, but FIFA president Gianni Infantino has now confirmed that expiring deals will be extended until the end of the campaign, whenever that may be.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly changed all the factual circumstances around football for this season. So, FIFA, together with the stakeholders, has come up with some practical ideas and proposals to tackle these new circumstances. Whilst this will not solve each and every problem, it should serve to bring a measure of stability and clarity to football for the foreseeable future," Infantino said in a statement.

"We hope that this collaborative effort, under the leadership of FIFA, can provide a positive example of how football can come together and show unity, solidarity and a spirit of compromise in order to face the challenging times ahead. But before these times come, one thing must be clear to everyone, especially now: health comes first, well before football.

"Expiring player contracts usually end when the season ends, with a termination date that coincides with the end of the season. With the current suspension of play in most countries, it is now obvious that the current season will not end when people thought it would.

"Therefore, it is proposed that contracts be extended until such time that the season does actually end. This should be in line with the original intention of the parties when the contract was signed and should also preserve sporting integrity and stability.

"A similar principle applies to contracts due to begin when the new season starts, meaning the entry into force of such contracts is delayed until the next season actually does start."

FIFA also confirmed that the 2020 summer transfer window will also be shifted to ensure that it falls between the end of this season and the start of next.

"With regard to transfer windows, again, it is necessary to adjust the normal regulatory position to the new factual circumstances. Accordingly, FIFA will be flexible and will allow the relevant transfer windows to be moved so they fall between the end of the old season and the start of the new season," the statement added.

"At the same time, FIFA will try to ensure, where possible, an overall level of coordination and will also bear in mind the need to protect the regularity, integrity and proper functioning of competitions, so that the sporting results of any competition are not unfairly disrupted."

The statement made no mention of the possibility of cancelling seasons, which will come as welcome news for the likes of Liverpool and Leeds United, both of whom are on the verge on long-awaited glory in the Premier League and Championship respectively.

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Tuesday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Team GB trio Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth all have realistic medal hopes in the women's event (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After an impressive opening day, Great Britain play their final group game against a Fiji side level with them at the top of the pool, but also yet to hit their brilliant best (1.30am)

TAEKWONDO
· After disappointment for friend and housemate Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden will go for gold in the women's +67kg category (2am-2.30pm)
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· Team GB's Duncan Scott has the chance to claim his first individual Olympic medal in the men's 200m freestyle final. Teammate Tom Dean is also involved. (2.43am)
· Kathleen Dawson is the Team GB representative in the women's 100m backstroke final (2.51am)

DIVING
· Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson will look to emulate Tom Daley and Matty Lee's success in the women's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

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