FIFA intervened and allowed foreign coaches and players based in Russia to leave their clubs Monday. However, this was only for the remainder of the season.
Clubs from other countries can sign up up to two players who have been with clubs in Russia and Ukraine during the normal transfer window periods.
Since the war in Ukraine, Ukraine’s league was suspended. Players are allowed to temporarily leave Ukraine until June 30.
FIFPRO and the World Leagues Forum, which represents the world’s soccer leagues, requested permission to allow Russian-based players to end their contracts. FIFA informed them that coaches and players could unilaterally terminate their contracts with Russia-affiliated clubs until the end of the current season, which ends June 30, but they refused.
FIFPRO, the global players’ association, criticized FIFA’s decision as “too timid.”
The union, based in the Netherlands, stated that players will have difficulty finding employment during the rest of the season, with uncertainty over their futures. “They will also be in very difficult circumstances again within the next few weeks,” it said.
FIFA has not yet suspended its soccer federation nor its officials following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, the umbrella organization that represents European leagues has already expelled Russia from its membership.
Many foreign players are not allowed to leave Russia or sign for new clubs outside of the two transfer trading periods.
After Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup, Gianni Infantino, FIFA president has maintained close ties to Vladimir Putin. FIFA declined to answer questions from The Associated Press about Russia in the past week. They also refused to say whether Infantino had been in touch with Putin, who gave him Russia’s Order of Friendship.
Two German coaches are among the many foreigners leaving Russian clubs. After seven weeks, Daniel Farke left Krasnodar and Markus Gisdol quit Lokomotiv Moscow.
FIFPRO stated that players and coaches of Ukrainian clubs are in great uncertainty and called for UEFA and FIFA to create a fund to help all those who are affected by the war.