What Will Happen to Croatian Footballers in Russia? FIFA Makes Decision

By 8 March 2022
What Will Happen to Croatian Footballers in Russia? FIFA Makes Decision
Slobodan Kadic

 March 8, 2022 - FIFA has finally made a decision on the contracts of Croatian footballers in Russia. 

The contracts of foreign footballers and coaches employed in the Russian and Ukrainian championships will be "suspended" until the end of the season, and in the spring they will be able to freely engage in other clubs and countries, FIFA announced on Monday, as reported by

On the Russian side, which has been banned from the sports world since the invasion of Ukraine and deprived of international competitions, the goal is to "facilitate the departure" of all those who have not found an agreement with their clubs, explains FIFA.

Therefore, they will have the “right to unilaterally suspend their employment contract” until June 30, 2022, and will be able to play for clubs from another championship, even outside the transition period. Foreign players and coaches in Ukraine will benefit from the same provision, to allow them to “work and receive a salary” while the conflicts continue.

Finally, underage players fleeing Ukraine will be treated by FIFA as underage refugees, thus entering an international transfer market that is otherwise closed to under-18s.

FIFA, which has already banned Russia from participating in the 2022 World Cup but risks appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the decision, reiterated its "condemnation of Russia's use of force in Ukraine" and called for a "quick cessation of hostilities".

FIFPro called FIFA’s temporary solution “too timid.”

“It will be hard for players to find employment for the remainder of the season with uncertainty looming over them and, within a few weeks, they will be in a very difficult situation once again. It is unsatisfactory even for players who are tied to short-term contracts in Russia — where contracts typically end in December — and who may not want or be able to return after 30 June 2022.”

This includes Croatian footballers Dejan Lovren, Nikola Moro, Filip Uremović, Tin Jedvaj, Zoran Nižić, Silvije Begić, Filip Mrzljak, and Mateo Barać. 

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