The COVID-19 virus has decimated the sporting calendar as social distancing measures are rightly adopted to stem its pernicious spread across the United Kingdom. Football is one sport bearing the brunt of the adoption of this measure and will continue to do so. It is an unprecedented situation that has left many pitfalls and questions. One question around contracts has been cleared up, it seems, in news from Football Insider.
Football Insider’s Wayne Veysey says that a “leaked FIFA document” seen by them indicates that special exemptions will be put in place to protect those clubs with loan players in their ranks. Veysey’s article says that FIFA has considered the Coronvirus pandemic as a ‘force majeure’, or a superior force that prevents the normal fulfilment of a contract.
Citing a heading in the leaked document titled ‘Expiring agreements (contracts) and new agreements’, Football Insider continues to say that contractual agreements, that usually run until the end of June in tandem with the football season, will be extended. Veysey writes that FIFA “now proposes to extend all expiring current contracts until the season ends.”
The end of the current season is somewhat a hazy proposition as there is no definitive date for football to restart. What has been proposed is a tentative April 30 recommencement date for seasons that are currently on hold. However, many are saying that is a date that is far too optimistic in light of what the current situation is.
News of this FIFA document, and its details, will no doubt be cheered by Leeds United supporters. Their side sits atop the Sky Bet Championship and do so with a seven-point gap to Fulham in 3rd. Much of this success has been built around the likes of Ben White, Helder Costa and Jack Harrison.
The Whites have leant heavily on the above trio of players who have produced eight goals and 11 assists between them. Attacking-wise, it is Harrison who has caught the eye of many with his pillow-soft first touch, five goals and seven assists.
Helder Costa has weighed in with three goals and two assists and generally industrious/tricky attacking play that turns opposition players around. Leeds are obliged to purchase Costa on what is said to be a £15 million deal with payments spread over four years.
It is Ben White though, as many Leeds United fans will attest, who has perhaps shone the most whilst on loan at Elland Road this season. He has played every minute of all 37 league games this season, impressing with his composure at the heart of the Leeds United defence and also when moving up into a defensive midfield role to cover Kalvin Phillips’ injury and red-card absences.