FIFA is asking foreign players based in Russia to leave their clubs permanently, in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in football’s governing body banning all teams indefinitely from Vladimir Putin’s country. The Russian football federation or their officials though aren’t suspended yet.
FIFPRO and the organization representing the world’s football leagues, the World Leagues Forum, have jointly written to FIFA seeking permission for Russia-based players to terminate their contracts.
They have been told that players can only temporarily join another club until 30 June but must then return to Russia, AP reported.
A final decision is set to be taken by the FIFA Bureau, which features the presidents of the six regional confederations.
There are plenty of foreign players based in Russia, who normally would not be able to terminate their contracts with the club or join a new one outside of the two regular transfer windows. But, FIFPRO general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann and WLF counterpart Jerome Perlemuter wrote to FIFA last week to raise the issue of allowing the players to continue their careers in another country.
“These foreign players may rightfully consider that they are not willing to represent any longer a Russian team,” Baer-Hoffmann and Perlemuter wrote to FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, “and should be able to immediately terminate their contract with their employer without facing any sanction whatsoever from international bodies and to be registered in a new club without being restricted by transfer period regulations.”
The FIFA President Gianni Infantino has close ties with Putin after Russia hosted the men’s World Cup in 2018. Putin in fact had given Infantino Russia’s Order of Friendship medal.
Russian teams have already seen foreigners leave, including two German coaches. Daniel Farke quit FC Krasnodar after seven weeks in the job and Markus Gisdol left Lokomotiv Moscow. Ukraine’s league remains suspended in the meantime due to the war.