Further to a request from ECA, world governing body FIFA has extended the FIFA Club Protection Programme to cover national team activities taking place prior to the mandatory release period for the FIFA World Cup 2014 (TM).
According to the FIFA Regulations governing the 2014 FIFA World Cup (TM), players are entitled to a rest period before being called up for national team duties in preparation for the FIFA World Cup (TM). The timeframe for such rest period is set from the 19th to the 25th of May and according to the FIFA International Match Calendar players have to be released as of the 26th of May.
Regardless, many national associations participating in the FIFA World Cup 2014 (TM) have announced to call up their players prior to the rest period or before the 26th of May.
The compliance with the mandatory release period is of utmost importance to clubs given the scope of the FIFA Club Protection Programme (CPP). The CPP only covers national team activities (incl. playing, training, travelling, etc.), which fall into the mandatory release period starting 14 days prior to the opening game of the FIFA World Cup (TM). As a result, the insurance would not cover any injury sustained by a player prior to the mandatory release implying that if a club accepts an anticipated call-up it would be at its own risk.
Following requests from several member clubs, the European Club Association addressed this issue at the UEFA Professional Football Strategy Council meeting in Turin yesterday where FIFA was also present.
FIFA understands the clubs' concerns and has today announced to extend the FIFA Club Protection Programme to cover all national team activities prior to the mandatory release date for those national associations qualified for the FIFA World Cup (TM).
To avoid similar concerns in the future, FIFA will clarify with its member associations the rule regarding the mandatory release period.