Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

FIFA has extended the permission for foreign players and coaches to suspend agreements with Russian football clubs. About the essence of the issue, the opinions of experts and the reaction in Russia – in the material of RBC

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Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

How it all started

In early March, the International Football Federation (FIFA) allowed foreign players and coaches who have contracts with Russian Premier League (RPL) clubs to unilaterally suspend agreements until June 30, 2022.

Some specialists and football players left Russia even before this decision. Someone left after. For example, Krasnodar played without foreign players at all. Many foreigners left Rubin and Rostov.

Using the option to suspend the contract, left Spartak striker Jordan Larsson. On Monday, he said he didn’t want to go back. “I read in the press that FIFA may extend the permission for players to suspend contracts for another year. And that would be nice for me, otherwise I will most likely have to return to Russia,” he said.

In February and March, most of the teams in the Russian championship lost their athletes. Also, two German mentors left the country, who held the posts of head coaches in Krasnodar and Lokomotiv, Daniel Farke and Markus Gisdol.

More than 50 people. Which of the foreigners left the Russian sports clubs

Former defender of

What happened

On Tuesday, June 21, FIFA extended the permission given in early March. Now it also applies to clubs from Ukraine. Now foreign players and coaches can suspend contracts with clubs from these countries until June 30, 2023.

“These measures give players and coaches the opportunity to train, play and receive salaries, protect Ukrainian clubs and facilitate the departure of foreign players and coaches from Russia,” the organization said in a statement.

Lawyers’ opinions

“This decision could create serious uncertainty for clubs. There are risks of the departure of football players, financial risks, as well as understaffing of the team, ”said Alexei Panich, lawyer, chairman of the Nikolskaya Consulting Bar Association, to RBC Sport.

According to Panich, if the Russian clubs decide to challenge the FIFA decision, then “with a high degree of probability the dispute should be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport” (CAS).

“In addition, in principle, this kind of dispute can arise not only between the federation and the club, but also between the club and the player, they can also be referred to the arbitration court,” the source said.

Sergei Alekseev, chairman of the sports law commission of the Russian Bar Association, believes that the decision “contradicts the FIFA statute, which proclaims the principle of old contract stability and other principles of work in the club.” “In relation to our clubs, first of all, there will be financial and transfer losses, large sums have been paid for players and coaches, these are financial losses, because activities are suspended,” he told RBC Sport.

According to Alekseev, the decision can be challenged by CAS within 21 days from the date of its issuance. “This is defined in the FIFA charter itself,” the expert added.

FIFA allowed to suspend contracts with clubs from Russia for another year

Reaction in Russia

The Russian Football Union (RFU) expressed its disagreement with the position of FIFA. The organization said that “we are ready to provide the clubs with all the necessary legal and other support in case they challenge the decision.” The RFU also noted that the decision “a priori cannot apply to contracts concluded after February 24, 2022.”

“Remember, in the famous work they argued that it would be a robbery or a robbery. Here and theft, and robbery, and robbery, ”said Alexander Medvedev, general director of Zenit TASS.

“We must not forget that clubs paid serious transfer amounts during transfers, and I don’t see anything about compensation from new clubs, FIFA or the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), ”the functionary added.

Zenit is one of the few teams that retained all foreign players last season. “I hope that this season it will not happen that the players will prefer to leave Zenit,” Medvedev added.

RFU disagrees with FIFA’s decision on contracts for foreigners

Photo: TASS

Due to the game in Russia, they may not be included in the national team

It may happen that a football player who does not leave Russia may not be invited to the national team, which may affect the choice of athletes. The first precedent occurred last Monday, when Spartak defender Maciej Rybus was expelled from the Polish national team.

“The coach informed the player that due to his current club position, he will not be called up to the September national team meeting,” the Polish Football Federation said in a statement.

“It is difficult to challenge the decision of the coach. Unless the player was told in plain text that it was because of the game in the Russian club. Then he can argue on the grounds of discrimination. Where exactly to file a claim is an individual matter, it is necessary to study specific regulatory documents. It is possible that the dispute will not go to arbitration, but in general to the state court of the corresponding country. But here a more careful approach is possible on the part of the coach, when they don’t say in plain text that it’s because of the game in the Russian club, but simply don’t include it in the squad and that’s it, it’s hard to dispute this, ”said Panich.

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