“The relief is very serious.” The new FIFA decision on the legionnaires is in favor of the RPL clubs!
Anatoly Romanov May 22, 2023, 18:00 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Now foreigners will not be able to simply leave Russia and suspend contracts.
FIFA has expanded the rule under which foreign players can suspend existing contracts with clubs in Russia and Ukraine. This was announced today by the International Football Federation on its official website. But this time the situation looks more positive than a year ago, when the legionnaires had the opportunity to leave the RPL without the permission of the bosses.
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The fact is that we are only talking about players who have previously accepted the FIFA rule and have “frozen” contracts. These players may not yet return to their teams from Russia or Ukraine. To extend the suspension of the contract -now until June 2024- the outgoing legionnaire must notify the club in writing before July 1, 2023.
However, as FIFA clarifies, this rule does not apply to:
foreign players who now continue to play for a Russian or Ukrainian club; foreign coaches who now continue to work at a Russian or Ukrainian club; foreign players and coaches whose contracts with Russian or Ukrainian clubs ended after March 7, 2022.
Thus, from today, the RPL clubs will be protected against the sudden departure of their foreigners. Both those who stayed in Russia without taking the opportunity to suspend their contract, and those who appeared in our championship from the summer of 2022. Of course, this also applies to those who have returned.
FIFA’s decision on foreign players can be considered a victory for the RFU and the RPL, albeit not a complete one. Now Russian clubs will not risk a lot of money by signing foreigners for millions or hundreds of thousands of euros. If a foreign player still wants to terminate the contract on his own initiative, he or his new employer will have to pay a large fine.
FIFA’s decision was commented on by sports lawyer Mikhail Prokopets for the “Championship”. He and the word:
– The relief is very serious. These reliefs, in fact, reflect what the clubs requested in their claim before the TAS. Obviously, politically, FIFA and CAS couldn’t afford to get this as a result of a lawsuit. However, credit must be given to FIFA for listening to the arguments of the clubs when making major changes to the new edition of the rules. In short, players who have not suspended their contracts after March 7, 2022 will no longer do so. Those who have paused can do so again. However, those who have not suspended, stayed or arrived after March 7 will not be able to make use of this rule.
– It is very important that FIFA has limited the time in which you can use the option to suspend the contract – explains Prokopets – until July 1, 2023, all players who want to suspend the contract must do so. The Russian clubs referred to this in their appeal before the CAS because before the option was unlimited. The player could suspend the contract at any time: outside the transfer window or five minutes before the start of the game, as was the case with Dinamo’s Varela. Establishing deadlines will help our clubs not be affected by sudden departures of foreign players. Clubs need to understand who will stay and who will go, and not live permanently in a tinderbox.
Photo: Edgar Breshchanov, “Championship”
– The third change is that the new clubs of the players who have left cannot be sold or signed new contracts with them, – continues the lawyer, – there were a number of cases in which the clubs resold the players who left , entered into permanent contracts with them. Also, it is no longer possible to use this option for transitions in the domestic championship. We had such a case with Norman, with Begich, who, after Rubin, signed a contract with Ural. They used the norm to suspend the contract, but, in fact, they went to the domestic championship. This option has also been closed. In short, now this rule has taken the form that it should have had initially: without any abuse, with the protection of the clubs that can now plan their season and understand who is leaving or not.
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Remember that representatives of Russian and Ukrainian clubs have consistently criticized the International Football Federation for allowing foreign players to suspend contracts. The Shakhtar leaders filed a lawsuit before the Court of Arbitration for Sport demanding compensation from FIFA in the amount of 50 million euros, however, the CAS rejected the Pitmen’s complaint. After that, Shakhtar appealed to the European Commission, the process is ongoing.