As confirmed by the reliable Matt Lawton of the Times, players with contracts due to expire this summer will finish out the extended campaign on the books of their current clubs.
Football at a standstill
The worldwide COVID-19 outbreak has of course been headline news across the globe for several weeks now.
As of this evening, over half a million people around the planet had tested positive for COVID-19, of whom 23,199 have sadly passed away.
The scale of the outbreak has inevitably also had major ramifications on the sporting world, with football having been hit particularly hard.
The ‘top-5’ European leagues have all been brought to a complete standstill over the course of the last fortnight, with the Champions League and Europa League postponed until further notice.
International football has also taken a major hit, with both Euro 2020 and the Copa America, which had been scheduled to take place this summer, having been pushed back until next year.
When you hear that there’s no EURO 2020 or Copa America this summer 😭 pic.twitter.com/at5GKexDS7
— Goal (@goal) March 17, 2020
Fifa to protect clubs
As such, as things stand, more questions than answers surround football at the highest level moving forward.
It currently remains altogether unclear whether the 2019/20 campaign will be played to completion, or, if it does, exactly when the season will end.
A further issue which had been brought to light by such uncertainty of late, meanwhile, surrounded the contracts of players.
As things stand, a whole host of stars across Europe and beyond are currently tied down to deals set to expire on June 30th.
As a result, with the very real possibility existing that the campaign will drag on into July and beyond, such players would no longer technically be contracted to their clubs, with fixtures left to play.
This would pose a major problem for the likes of Premier League giants Chelsea, who currently have all of Olivier Giroud, Willian and Pedro Rodriguez tied to expiring deals.
As outlined above, however, the Blues, and all other outfits with soon-to-be free agents on their books, need not fret.
As per the Times:
‘Players looking to move when their contacts expire at the end of June will be made to stay at their clubs until the season is finished as part of a Fifa plan in response to the coronavirus crisis.’
It is claimed that a document produced by Fifa, and subsequently viewed by the Times, states that the unforeseen nature of the COVID-19 crisis has handed world football’s governing body the power to propose a new contract deadline, which will see players forced to continue plying their trade with their current clubs until the season’s new end date.
Players out of contract will have to stay at clubs until season is completed | Sport | The Times https://t.co/7uPB29yU1U
— Matt Lawton (@Lawton_Times) March 26, 2020