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FIFA extends option for foreign players to leave Russia, Ukraine

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CASABLANCA, MOROCCO - Achraf Hakimi (L) of Morocco in action against Arthur Masuaku (R) of Democratic Republic of the Congo during the FIFA World Cup African Qualifiers 3rd round match between Morocco and Democratic Republic of Congo at the Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca, Morocco on March 29, 2022. (Jalal Morchidi - Anadolu Agency)
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Jun 23, 2022 - 07:33 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – FIFA has extended a window allowing foreign coaches and players to suspend deals with their clubs in Russia and Ukraine through June 30, 2023.

In a statement, the worldwide governing body of football said on Tuesday that the decision followed regulations introduced in March with the aim of “effectively assisting players, clubs and coaches impacted by the war in Ukraine.”

The provisions give foreign players and coaches the right to “suspend their employment contracts with their clubs until 30 June 2023,” should their Ukrainian or Russian sides not reach a “mutual agreement” with them by June 30, 2022, said the statement.

“These provisions give 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,” it explained.

Since the war began, Russian competitors and teams have been barred from competing in a variety ofsports, leagues, and competitions, with Russia also banned from hosting such play.

In April, the Ukrainian Premier League was terminated without naming a season champion due to the war that began on Feb. 24.

Shakhtar Donetsk were the leaders with 47 points from 18 matches, while their nearest opponents, Dynamo Kyiv, were two points behind.

Shakhtar got a direct qualification for the UEFA Champions League group stage and Dynamo Kyiv will face Fenerbahçe in a second qualifying round in the Champions League.

Also, the UEFA Champions League Final, originally scheduled in Saint Petersburg, was canceled and reorganized at the Stade de France in Paris.

Nearly 4,600 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the beginning of the war with Russia.

Over 14 million people have been forced to flee their homes, including more than 7.7 million that have fled to other countries, according to UN figures.

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