LEAGUES

Coronavirus: Clubs not forced to release international players as FIFA recommends postponements

5 months ago
Share

FIFA has ruled clubs can keep their players for the upcoming international break, and it is consequently in favour of postponements.

Clubs will not be forced to release their players for international duty in March and April amid the coronavirus crisis, with FIFA recommending fixture postponements.

Football has largely come to a standstill worldwide as associations attempt to combat the spread of a virus that has already led to over 5,000 deaths.

The Champions League and Europa League have notably been suspended, along with each of Europe's top five leagues.

Fixtures in MLS, the Scottish Premiership and the English Football League are also all off.

The Premier League, Serie A and LaLiga have paused play until after the scheduled upcoming international break, while the Ligue 1 season has been postponed until further notice.

International football now appears unlikely to continue, too, as clubs - usually powerless to prevent call-ups – have received permission to keep their players following a FIFA Council decision.

FIFA will not impose the postponement of all forthcoming fixtures but is encouraging such measures.

A statement read: "FIFA understands that to hold the matches under current circumstances might not only present potential health risks to players (and to the general public) but would also, most likely, compromise the sporting integrity of such matches insofar as certain teams may be deprived of their best squads whilst others may not.

"To avoid any unnecessary health risks and also situations of potential sporting unfairness, we therefore recommend that all international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment, both for players and for the general public.

"The final decision on this issue rests with the respective competition organisers or relevant member association in case of friendlies."

World Cup qualifiers in Asia and South America have already been pushed back, along with the cancellation of some international friendlies.

UEFA is yet to call off the Euro 2020 play-offs set for the coming weeks, although the tournament's existing schedule appears to be in doubt ahead of a meeting next Tuesday.

Related news

Coronavirus in sport: Masters and Giro latest high-profile events postponed

5 months ago

Coronavirus: FIFA postpones South American qualifiers

5 months ago

Ricardo Pereira out for season, likely to miss Euro 2020 with ACL damage

5 months ago

Coronavirus: UEFA to hold video meeting with Champions League and Europa League in limbo

5 months ago

Coronavirus: Denmark expect England friendly to be axed

5 months ago

Coronavirus: Bosnia-Herzegovina urge UEFA to postpone Euro 2020 play-off against Northern Ireland

5 months ago

Coronavirus: CONMEBOL asks for World Cup qualifiers to be postponed

5 months ago

Ihattaren called up by Netherlands along with Serie A contingent

5 months ago

Coronavirus: UEFA has not received a single request to postpone Euro 2020

5 months ago

Coronavirus: Serie A suspension confirmed by Italian prime minister as Italy goes into lockdown

5 months ago

Coronavirus: Italy brings sport to a halt, Six Nations stuck in limbo

5 months ago

Coronavirus: 2022 World Cup qualifiers postponed in Asia

5 months ago

O'Neill devastated as Stoke confirm Joe Allen will miss Euro 2020

5 months ago

Chelsea's Gilmour on talk of Scotland call-up: It's a bit mad

5 months ago

Neymar back in Brazil squad for first World Cup qualifiers, Alisson misses out

5 months ago

Tosun a major doubt for Turkey's Euro 2020 campaign with ACL injury

5 months ago

Asian World Cup qualifiers set to be postponed due to coronavirus

5 months ago

Kane targets April return for Spurs and England spot for Euro 2020

5 months ago

Koeman upbeat about Depay's recovery from knee injury

5 months ago