FIFA allows foreign players to leave Russian, Ukrainian clubs

By Sports Desk March 07, 2022

FIFA has announced a series of temporary measures to facilitate the departure of players and coaches from Ukraine and Russia.

World football's governing body had already banned Russian clubs and teams from its competitions in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, although Russia has since made clear its intention to appeal such sanctions.

FIFA has now confirmed a number of changes to registration and contract rules, designed to benefit players and staff who have been directly impacted by the conflict.

All contracts of foreign players and coaches working in Ukraine, FIFA has announced, will be automatically suspended until June 30, 2022, "in order to provide players and coaches with the opportunity to work and receive a salary [abroad], and to protect Ukrainian clubs."

Meanwhile, FIFA has also moved to make it easier for foreign coaches or players plying their trade in Russia to leave the country, should they wish to do so.

Foreign coaches or players will now have the right to unilaterally suspend their contracts with Russian clubs until the end of June this year. 

Shakhtar Donetsk head coach Roberto De Zerbi as well as a plethora of Brazilian players at the same club, are amongst those who could potentially seek to work outside of Ukraine for the remainder of the season.

The invasion of Ukraine has attracted widespread condemnation from across the sporting world, while two high-profile foreign Russian Premier League coaches suddenly left their posts after the invasion.

Former Norwich City boss Daniel Farke quit his role as Krasnodar coach last week without managing a single game, while Markus Gisdol left Lokomotiv Moscow, telling German newspaper BILD that he could not work in a nation "whose leader has invaded another country in the middle of Europe."

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