FIFA issued an updated decision on Russia – based foreign players this week
The Russian football authorities have warned that they could take legal action against FIFA after it extended a ruling allowing foreign players and coaching staff to unilaterally suspend their contracts with Russian clubs.
FIFA announced the move on Tuesday and continues a policy originally introduced in March following the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine. According to the decision, any foreign player or coach of a Russian club can postpone his contract until June 30, 2023, without fear of punishment.
Responds a joint statement on Friday, the Russian Football Federation (RFU), Russian Premier League and Russian clubs condemned the move as “discriminatory” and fundamentally detrimental to the sport.
“FIFA has repeatedly stated that sport should remain outside politics, but the organization’s position clearly contradicts this,” the statement read.
“We believe that the decision to terminate the contract violates FIFA’s rules, is discriminatory, and was taken against one of the members of the football family in the absence of his fault. FIFA representatives never held any preliminary consultations and discussions with us.
“The decision completely destroys the principles of contract stability and the integrity of the competition. It is clear that now football players and coaches have the right not to respect contractual obligations.
“In addition, questions about financial consequences for Russian football clubs are completely ignored. How to ensure long-term planning and financial stability in a situation where even the most valuable player can leave the team without any compensation? The contract can no longer fully protect both the club and the athlete. This precedent is a bad sign for the entire football industry “, it added.
The announcement urged clubs outside Russia not to take advantage of the situation by trying to lure foreign stars away from the country while under contract.
“With the hope of preserving the principles set out in the foundations of world sport, we would like to address all members of the international football community. We ask you not to abuse the rights granted by FIFA, as their decision is contrary to the fundamental principles of “In the future, a similar situation could affect any association,” the statement said.
“Football should not divide but unite people in all corners of the world. The decision will cause irreparable damage to the football industry in Russia. We reserve the right to go to court to protect our interests.”
The FIFA decision was also condemned by RFU President Alexander Dyukov, who branded it “contrary to FIFA standards and discriminatory.”
“It is outrageous that no consultations and discussions were held with us by FIFA. In addition, there are currently no mechanisms for financial compensation to clubs – this could lead to financial losses. Some kind of compensation mechanism could be considered.” sa RFU chief.
“FIFA’s decision sets a precedent – the contractual stability of clubs can be violated, and then such decisions can be made in relation to clubs in other countries.”
Several Russian clubs have seen foreign players and coaching staff leave since the conflict with Ukraine broke out. Some have terminated contracts by mutual consent, although others saw players leave on loan last season when they took advantage of the first FIFA decision in March.
Just this week, Spartak Moscow’s former Chelsea star Victor Moses was reported as does not come to pre-season training. Spartak’s Swedish forward Jordan Larsson has also signaled that he would prefer another loan to AIK in his home country, rather than returning to Russia.
Other clubs, especially the current Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg, has managed to retain its big foreign stars and has not encountered the kind of exodus that has been seen elsewhere.
Russian national team coach Valeri Karpin, who is also the coach of the club team Rostov, said last season that the situation could basically undermine the competition principles of the Russian league.
Should RFU take legal action against FIFA, it would do so add the cases that Russia is already pending against the global football board.
RFU is awaiting a final decision from the Swiss Sports Arbitration Court (CAS) on whether the ban imposed on all Russian clubs from FIFA and UEFA competitions is legal.
Russian officials have also said they are seeking compensation for UEFA’s decision to take St. Petersburg from the Champions League final last season.