FIFA revises rules on releasing players for September window

Clubs will not be obliged to release their players for duty in September’s international window if it will mean a period of quarantine.

FIFA has revised its rules after consultation with UEFA, whose member associations are involved in next month’s international friendlies and Nations League matches.

With the COVID-19 crisis still affecting daily life across the planet, football’s governing body has introduced temporary measures to help to reduce the health risk to players and impact on clubs.

As such, clubs will not have to release their players to represent their countries if it would involve a mandatory period of self-isolation of at least five days.

That applies whether the period of quarantine would take place in the country of origin or arrival.

“In light of the recent evolution of the coronavirus pandemic, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to temporarily adapt the rules concerning the release of players during the upcoming September international window, which is to be played only by UEFA member associations,” read a statement.

“The situation of the pandemic is rapidly evolving across the world and many national governments have again implemented travel and immigration restrictions due to a renewed increase in COVID-19 infections.

“Some of these measures directly impact international competition, such as mandatory periods of quarantine or self-isolation and travel restrictions.

“As a result, in order to ensure that the well-being and health of all individuals involved in international competition is respected, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has, after consultation with UEFA, decided that the general rules which normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches should not apply in the following instances:

– there is a mandatory period of quarantine or self-isolation of at least five days upon arrival at:

– the location of the club which has an obligation to release the player to an association team; or

– the location where a representative team match is scheduled to take place;

– there is a travel restriction to or from either location (a. or b. above); and

– no specific exemption from the relevant authorities relating to the above decisions has been granted to players of a representative team.

“Furthermore, all participants in matches during international windows must abide by the health and safety protocols established by the relevant competition organizer.”

The revised measures apply from August 31 to September 8 for men and from September 14 to 22 for women.

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