PSL clubs and players are facing uncertain times over when the current COVID-19 pandemic could end, and FIFA are looking at how they can alleviate stresses relating to contracts.
With most football leagues worldwide currently suspended, including the PSL’s three different divisions, plenty of questions are being asked about the potential impact if the campaigns are not completed due to the global coronavirus crisis.
The UEFA Euros and CONMEBOL Copa America scheduled for June-July have already been postponed, while domestic leagues continue to monitor the situation and deliberate over the way forward for the 2019/20 season.
One obstacle in particular that has been raised by many is the regulations around players’ contracts ending on June 30, as prescribed in FIFA’s strict regulations.
However, president of the world football governing body Gianni Infantino has since advised that adjustments are on the cards to protect the interests of both clubs and players should the COVID-19 pandemic force leagues to overrun the usual deadlines.
“The world is facing an unprecedented health challenge and clearly a global and collective response is needed,” said Infantino in a statement released last week.
“Cooperation, mutual respect and understanding must be the guiding principles for all decision makers to have in mind at this crucial moment in time.
“Particularly in football, finding appropriate and fair solutions at global level is imperative. This requires unity, solidarity and a shared sense of responsibility, and we need to think of all those around the world potentially impacted by our decisions.
“FIFA will also consult with professional football stakeholders to be able to shortly announce any necessary amendments or temporary dispensations to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players’ to protect contracts for both players and clubs.”
Provided the proposal is passed by the Player Status Committee and all other stakeholders, players – including those, such as George Maluleka, who have signed pre-contracts elsewhere – will be expected to fulfill their duties with their current employers before joining their new clubs.
For individuals whose contacts are set to expire on June 30, provided the leagues do run over into the following season's calendar, clubs will need to continue paying their salaries until such a time as their duties are fulfilled.