FIFA has issued a statement to confirm the approval of changes to the guideline for this summer's transfer window and player contracts. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the world football governing body has agreed to a reform which will allow players' contracts to be amended as a result of the current crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced football to be suspended and the issue of players' contracts and the upcoming free agency for some have been debated. With plans outlined for the season to resume at a point this summer, many have been left to think of what will become of players whose currents are expected to expire in June and July.
On Tuesday, FIFA revealed in a statement that provisions have been made in a new guideline for the contracts of players' to be temporarily extended due to the current situation. "The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly changed all the factual circumstances around football for this season," the statement read.
"So, FIFA, together with the stakeholders, has come up with some practical ideas and proposals to tackle these new circumstances.
"Whilst this will not solve each and every problem, it should serve to bring a measure of stability and clarity to football for the foreseeable future.
"We hope that this collaborative effort, under the leadership of FIFA, can provide a positive example of how football can come together and show unity, solidarity and a spirit of compromise in order to face the challenging times ahead. But before these times come, one thing must be clear to everyone, especially now: health comes first, well before football.
"Expiring player contracts usually end when the season ends, with a termination date that coincides with the end of the season. With the current suspension of play in most countries, it is now obvious that the current season will not end when people thought it would.
"Therefore, it is proposed that contracts be extended until such time that the season does actually end. This should be in line with the original intention of the parties when the contract was signed and should also preserve sporting integrity and stability.
"A similar principle applies to contracts due to begin when the new season starts, meaning the entry into force of such contracts is delayed until the next season actually does start."
In essence, an illustration can be seen in the fact that Willian - whose contract with Chelsea will expire this summer - will not exit the club until the Premier League season has been completed. Similarly, Ajax's Hakim Ziyech will not make his move to join the Blues until the Eredivisie is concluded.