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Following the escalation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has led to an ongoing and distressing humanitarian crisis, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided – in coordination with UEFA and after consultation with various stakeholders – to temporarily amend the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) in order to provide legal certainty and clarity on a number of matters.

The principles are set out in the form of a temporary annexe to the RSTP (Annexe 7) entitled “Temporary rules addressing the exceptional situation deriving from the war in Ukraine”.

The following decisions have been taken:

  • Concerning the situation in Ukraine, in order to provide players and coaches with the opportunity to work and receive a salary, and to protect Ukrainian clubs, unless the parties to the relevant contract explicitly agree otherwise, all employment contracts of foreign players and coaches with clubs affiliated to the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) will be deemed automatically suspended until the end of the season in Ukraine (30 June 2022), without the need for any action from the parties to this effect.
  • In order to facilitate the departure of foreign players and coaches from Russia, in the event that clubs affiliated to the Football Union of Russia (FUR) do not reach a mutual agreement with their respective foreign players and coaches before or on 10 March 2022 and unless otherwise agreed in writing, the foreign players and coaches will have the right to unilaterally suspend their employment contracts with the FUR-affiliated clubs in question until the end of the season in Russia (30 June 2022).

The suspension of a contract as per the paragraphs above will mean that players and coaches will be considered “out of contract” until 30 June 2022 and will therefore be at liberty to sign a contract with another club without facing consequences of any kind.

Additional flexibility

Furthermore, in order to provide flexibility to players whose registration was with the UAF or the FUR and who have left or may be intending to leave the territory of Ukraine or Russia as a consequence of the war in Ukraine, foreign players whose previous registration was with the UAF or the FUR will be allowed to be registered even if the registration period is closed at the association of the club with which they conclude a new contract.

In order for this exception to be applicable and to protect the integrity of competitions, the registration with the new club needs to occur before or on 7 April 2022.

To further protect the integrity of competitions, clubs are entitled to register a maximum of two players who have benefited from the exception.

Protection of players

In relation to the protection of minors, minors fleeing from Ukraine to other countries due to the armed conflict will be deemed to fulfil the requirements of article 19 paragraph 2 d) of the RSTP, which exempts refugee minors from the rule preventing the international transfer of players before the age of 18.

FIFA would like to reiterate its condemnation of the ongoing use of force by Russia in Ukraine and calls for a rapid cessation of hostilities and for a return to peace.