Foreign players in Russia can break contracts

Foreign players contracted to clubs in Ukraine and Russia have been given the freedom to sign for new teams outside the two countries as free agents after FIFA invoked temporary employment and registration rules.

The emergency rules follow Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and ensure that all employment contracts of foreign players and coaches with clubs affiliated to the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) or Football Union of Russia (FUR) will be suspended until June 30, 2022.

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Russian clubs have until March 10 to reach a mutual agreement with foreign players and coaches, otherwise those employed will have the right to unilaterally suspend their contract until the end of the season. Football in Ukraine has been suspended since Russia’s invasion last month.

Although the European transfer window for players has been closed since the winter deadline on Jan. 31, FIFA has sanctioned a re-opening of the window until April 7 for foreign players in Ukraine and Russia to find new clubs.

Russian Premier League club FC Krasnodar agreed to suspend the contracts of their eight non-Russian players last week in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, while newly-appointed coach Daniel Farke, the former Norwich City manager, announced his resignation just days after being appointed.

A large number of Brazilian players contracted to Shakhtar Donetsk, Dynamo Kyiv and SK Dnipro-1 were evacuated from Ukraine following the invasion last week after the intervention of UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin and Moldovan Football Federation president Leonid Oleinichenko.

FIFA, meanwhile, is considering a request by the UAF to postpone Ukraine’s World Cup Play-Off against Scotland in Glasgow on March 24.

With 15 members of the last Ukrainian squad believed to still be in Ukraine, the UAF has informed FIFA that it will not be able to fulfil the fixture due to the situation in the country.

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