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FERWAFA President sends message of solidarity to Members

Posted on Apr 20 2020

The president of Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA), Sekamana Jean Damascene has sent a message of solidarity to member associations and shared with them what FERWAFA is doing to address the current Covid-19 Crisis, which has paralyzed all football competitions and events not only in Rwanda but also to the rest of the world.

In his message, Sekamana informed all members some of the key decisions that have been undertaken by the football body during this crisis.

On the National level, FERWAFA will take any decision to resume all competitions (men, women, & youth) and other planned events, where necessary, based on advice from the relevant National public Health Authorities.

“Health should always be the guiding principle for FERWAFA, its member associations and stakeholders when executing decisions in this particular situation,”

FERWAFA president reminded members that this period is about survival and saving lives.

“FERWAFA is cautious and aware of the financial impact that most of our members have been enduring due to the lack of a league partner. However, before this situation, we were in final stages of negotiations with strategic partners with hope of supporting FERWAFA in its football activities and events,”

“FERWAFA has also shared some vital information with FIFA related to FERWAFA’s financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis,”

“We will continue to engage several national and international stakeholders in search for immediate solutions to address the current economic situation of our football,” added Sekamana.

Sekamana encouraged clubs to implement the key practical issues highlighted in the Covid-19 FIFA Regulatory Issues Version 1-0, which was endorsed by FIFA on April 6, 2020, some of which include:

Expiry and commencement of player contracts: 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. Therefore, it is proposed that contracts be extended until such time that the season does actually end. This should be in line with the original intention of the parties when the contract was signed and should preserve sporting integrity and stability.

A similar principle applies to contracts due to begin when the new season starts, meaning the entry into force of such contracts is delayed until the next season actually does start.

Football employment agreements that can no longer be performed: The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly had a major impact on the revenues of clubs, not least since matches cannot be played. Football, like other sectors of the economy, has to find fair and equitable solutions tailored to these circumstances, hopefully with a view to protecting jobs and achieving a fair and reasonable balance of interests between players and clubs.

Accordingly, FIFA strongly encourages clubs and players to work together to find agreements and solutions during the period when football is suspended. While it is primarily up to the relevant parties at national level to find solutions to fit the circumstances in their own country, FIFA recommends looking at all aspects of each situation in an even handed manner, including what government measures are there to support clubs and players, whether pay should be deferred or reduced and what insurance coverage may exist.

If parties cannot agree and, as a consequence, cases that will head to FIFA, the factors to be examined in accordance with FIFA regulations and decisions.

On Transfer Windows: It is necessary to adjust the normal regulatory position to the new factual circumstances. 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.

At the same time, FIFA will try to ensure, where possible, an overall level of coordination and will also bear in mind the need to protect the regularity, integrity and proper functioning of competitions, so that the sporting results of any competition are not unfairly disrupted.

On this aspect, FERWAFA will work hand in hand with FIFA to determine the appropriate transfer window for Rwanda based on how the current situation evolves.

On the International match calendar; FIFA has postponed all international matches to be played during the June 2020 window while on continental level, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has already postponed the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches indefinitely because of this pandemic. A new communication confirming the return of FIFA and CAF Competitions will be sent to all member associations once confirmed.

In his concluding remarks, Sekamana urged every one to remain safe and healthy while respecting and implementing Government guidelines in curbing and containing the outbreak. “We will come through these difficult times together,” he added.

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