World football governing body, FIFA has said that foriegn players plying their trade in Russia and Ukraine can suspend their contract and temporarily leave the country.
FIFA made the announcement on Monday as a result of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ripples Nigeria earlier reported that the football body had placed a suspension on all national teams and clubs in Russia, and has now asked players and coaches to decide to stay or leave.
In the statement, FIFA said: “Foreign players and coaches will have the right to unilaterally suspend their employment contracts with the clubs in question until the end of the season.
“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.”
FIFA in conjunction with European football governing body, UEFA had jointly banned Russian teams from competing in international games till further notice.
Russia men’s national team are billed to take part in the World Cup playoffs next month, but will not be able to due to the ban. The women’s national team too will not be able to participate at the Euro 2022.
Russian club Spartak Moscow have also been kicked out of the Europa League, and the 2022 Champions League final, originally due to be played in St Petersburg on 28 May, has now been moved to Paris.
The Russian Football Union said it will go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) to appeal against the ban.
“Concerning the situation in Ukraine, in order to provide players and coaches with the opportunity to work and receive a salary, and to protect Ukrainian clubs, unless the parties to the relevant contract explicitly agree otherwise, all employment contracts of foreign players and coaches with clubs affiliated to the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) will be deemed automatically suspended until the end of the season in Ukraine (June 30, 2022), without the need for any action from the parties to this effect,” read FIFA’s statement.
“In order to facilitate the departure of foreign players and coaches from Russia, in the event that clubs affiliated to the Football Union of Russia (FUR) do not reach a mutual agreement with their respective foreign players and coaches before or on 10 March 2022 and unless otherwise agreed in writing, the foreign players and coaches will have the right to unilaterally suspend their employment contracts with the FUR-affiliated clubs in question until the end of the season in Russia (30 June 2022).
“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.”
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