The decisions made on 1 October by the Bureau of the FIFA Council, which will see emergency measures relating to the release of players for upcoming national team matches extended, provide comfort to players and releasing clubs but reiterate the need for heightened stakeholder awareness and further considerations in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
ECA recognises the sporting and economic importance of international football returning to play but only under safe, reasonable and consistent conditions.
FIFA’s priorities as a governing body should remain on protecting football as a whole through this pandemic in the safest possible way and ensuring players and clubs do not take unnecessary risks.
As such, we refer all releasing clubs, players and leagues to the principles outlined by ECA, FIFPRO and the World Leagues Forum as part of their consultation input to FIFA on International Calendar Matters. In particular and consistent with yesterday’s decisions of the Bureau of the FIFA Council, the Confederations and National Associations must provide clubs and players with all necessary information to establish that (i) the approved protocols have been fully implemented; and (ii) exemptions from mandatory quarantine/travel restrictions are in place.
Furthermore, to manage risk during this emergency period, we continue to call on the governing bodies to apply common sense and reconsider the mandatory player release obligations other than for senior competitive matches, i.e. qualifiers for World Cup or continental tournaments. Finally, we reiterate that a review of liabilities concerning the health and financial consequences of infection or mandatory quarantine of players following participation in national team football is required.