Coronavirus Outbreak: All India Football Federation delays start date of domestic season due to COVID-19 pandemic

In a circular sent to all its members, the AIFF said it was done by following the guidelines issued by the world body FIFA as well as those by the Indian government

Press Trust of India May 29, 2020 21:16:01 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: All India Football Federation delays start date of domestic season due to COVID-19 pandemic

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Friday decided to delay the start date of the domestic season till further notice in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a circular sent to all its members, the AIFF said it was done by following the guidelines issued by the world body FIFA as well as those by the Indian government.

Coronavirus Outbreak All India Football Federation delays start date of domestic season due to COVID19 pandemic

Mohun Bagan coach Kibu Vicuna celebrates the I-League 2019-20 title victory with his players. Image: @theafcdotcom

"In view of the current situation of the pandemic, we are unsure as to when things would go back to normal and sports can be played again in the country. Hence, AIFF has decided to postpone the start date of the upcoming season i.e. 2020-21 season and its first registration period till further notice," the AIFF said.

"The same shall be declared through a separate circular," it said in the circular titled 'COVID-19 Football Regulatory Issues in India'.
Last year, the Indian Super League began on 20 October while the I-League started on 30 November.

The AIFF said Article 5.1 paragraph 1 of Annexe 3 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players provides that prior to a registration period commencing, associations may amend or modify the dates under "exceptional circumstances".

"The COVID-19 outbreak is clearly an exceptional circumstance, the AIFF said.

"In view of the above, FIFA has decided to allow all its member associations to amend season dates and/or registration periods, either within the FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS) or by otherwise notifying FIFA."

The AIFF said its Executive Committee on 13 May took a decision to conclude the current season (2019-20) on its original end date of 31 May. Regarding 'Expiring Agreements and New Agreements', the AIFF said: "There will not be any effects on an agreement expiring at the end of the current season as there is no change in the actual end date of the 2019-20 Season and all such agreements shall expire on their original end date.

"In case, an employment agreement is due to commence at the original start date of a new season, such commencement is delayed until the new start date of a new season.

"Notwithstanding the recommended amendment to agreement dates, any payment that contractually falls due prior to the new commencement date of an agreement should be delayed until the new start date of the 2020-21 Season."

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