By Can Erozden
ANKARA (AA) - FIFA on Tuesday said that expiring agreements of football players would remain valid until the season's new end date, as the 2019-2020 fixtures were still on hold due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"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," the world governing body for football said in an online statement.
"Therefore, it is proposed that contracts be extended until such time that the season does actually end," said the body, which is tasked with protecting the proper functioning of contests.
In conjunction with the new rule about contract expiries, FIFA also rearranged transfer windows.
"Accordingly, FIFA will be flexible and will allow the relevant transfer windows to be moved so they fall between the end of the old season and the start of the new season," it said.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the pandemic changed plans for this season across the globe, but that human health was more important than football.
On June 30, 2020, many players will be free agent as their deals with their clubs run out.
COVID-19 has disrupted sports events, including football, around the world.
In March, the virus forced national football leagues and international competitions to suspend fixtures until further notice, which may push the resumption of divisions to 2020 summer.
After appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 184 countries and regions, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Over 1.38 million cases have been reported worldwide, with Europe being the worst-hit.
The global death toll is over 78,200 and more than 292,900 people have recovered around the world so far.