Football’s world governing body has extended a rule originally introduced in March
Foreign soccer players and coaching staff will be allowed to unilaterally suspend their contracts with Russian clubs until summer 2023, FIFA has announced. The ruling is an extension of a ruling first issued in March after the outbreak of conflict in Ukraine.
FIFA said that if Russian clubs cannot agree on terminating contracts with foreign stars and staff before the end of this month, “These players and coaches will have the right to suspend their employment contracts with their clubs until June 30, 2023.”
The decision, which also applies to Ukrainian clubs, “give[s] players and coaches the opportunity to train, play and receive a salary, while protecting Ukrainian clubs and facilitating the departure of foreign players and coaches from Russia,” FIFA argued.
This measure is effectively aimed at allowing foreign stars to leave Russia before next season without fear of contractual sanctions from their teams.
Stars such as Poland and FC Krasnodar midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak benefited from the move last season, in the midfielder’s case when he was loaned to Greek club AEK Athens.
At Spartak Moscow, striker Jordan Larsson – son of Sweden and Barcelona icon Henrik Larsson – has joined AIK in his native country, also on loan. Larsson recently told Swedish media that he was unsure about returning to Spartak, where he is still under contract.
Some Russian clubs have seen an exodus of foreign players and managerial talent following the military campaign in Ukraine, while others – notably Premier League champions Zenit St. Petersburg – have retained the services of their biggest names .
World sport begins to realize mistake of Russian bans – minister
Russian men’s national team manager Valeri Karpin, who also coaches club Rostov, complained last season that the situation had distorted the sporting integrity of the league.
However, it has also been argued that the departure of foreign talent will mean more opportunities for young Russians to thrive.
One remaining player is new Spartak Moscow who have signed Polish international Maciej Rybus.
This week, the Polish FA told the defender – who previously played for Lokomotiv Moscow – that he will no longer be selected for the national team due to his decision to stay in Russia.
The punishment means Rybus will effectively be forced to miss the World Cup in Qatar later this year and may never feature for his country again.
FIFA and UEFA imposed a ban on all Russian teams, with UEFA confirming in early May that the suspension would cover at least the 2022/23 season.
The Russian women’s national team was dropped from this summer’s European Championship in England, while their male counterparts were expelled from the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in March.
The Russian Football Union (RFU) is appealing the bans to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland (CAS), with the final verdict still pending in the case.
You can share this story on social media: