The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
WORLD football governing body, Fifa is mulling extending the player-transfer window period in consideration of the disruption caused by the coronavirus epidemic.
The window for leagues using the calendar year, which Zimbabwe is using (March-November) closes on Tuesday (31 March) despite the fact leagues have been put on hold worldwide as the world battles the highly infectious virus.
While Zifa communications and competition manager, Xolisani Gwesela said they have not received any communication from Fifa on the extension of the transfer period, the football mother body said they were consulting confederations on whether there is need to make any changes to set dates.
Responding to emailed questions, a Fifa spokesman said they created a working group to respond to matters that might arise due to the implosion of Covid-19, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
He said the group was formed to particularly look at the need to make any changes to Fifa regulations relating to status and transfer of players including adjusting player registration periods.
“On 18 March the Bureau of the Fifa Council decided to establish a Fifa-Confederations Working Group in response to Covid-19. This Working Group will assess the need for amendments or temporary dispensations to the Fifa Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players to protect contracts for both players and clubs and adjusting player registration periods. This work has already started and will be conducted in consultation with all key stakeholders, including confederations, member associations, clubs, leagues and players,” read the response.
PSL spokesperson, Kudzai Bare said they would also be adhering to the set deadline as no new communication had been removed from Zifa.
As there’s uncertainty on when the local league will resume several teams have put their players on individual training programmes as they encourage more isolation and teams are likely to seek a preparatory period before the league resumes.
Sporting activities across the globe have been negatively affected by the highly infectious virus that has forced several countries to implement lockdowns while banning all gatherings to reduce the infection rate.
The biggest casualty in the sporting arena has been the Olympics, whose postponement was announced last Tuesday.