Clubs instructed to keep out-of-contract players

Players' welfare: Masaseng says clubs have been told to keep out of contract players PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Players' welfare: Masaseng says clubs have been told to keep out of contract players PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

FIFA has instructed clubs not to release players whose contracts expire during the period of football inactivity. Local football has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

A number of players are out of contract at the end of May and June, but it is unclear when football would return.

Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB), secretary general, Kgosana Masaseng said a directive from FIFA sent in April states that any agreement between clubs and players allows players to finish off the season with their teams.

“In terms of FIFA guidelines all players whose contracts were to end in June will automatically extend until the end of the current season, that is the principle FIFA has adopted, even if the league activities are extended. It will be extended with the same terms and all that, so we cannot have the club saying that I have negotiated with the player for this term so the contract ends here.”

“This is to promote contractual stability because we may see players leaving whilst teams failing to replace those players with the season not having reached its conclusion,” Masaseng said.

“So if the BFA (Botswana Football Association) and other stakeholders decide to annul the season, the players will be free and will be out of contract. This is only fair because players will not be allowed to sign for any team and the BFA has been directed to come up with a new date for the transfer window that is the guidelines from FIFA.”

From next Monday, clubs will be allowed to return to training but a date on the league return has not been set.

Orapa United’s public relations officer, Kabo William said the break has brought uncertainty at the club with plans for the future heavily affected.

“We are heavily affected, it is like starting afresh in football. There are many things happening, suggestions coming in on how to end the league and restructure the season so you cannot plan when you do not have direction,” he said.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s spokesperson, Tankiso Morake said the management met this week and would make their plans public next week.

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