FIFA has chosen to postpone the new Club World Cup in which Liverpool were expected to feature – and are pondering a change to transfer regulations in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
A new 24-team competition, to replace the tournament the Reds won in Qatar in December and take place once every four years, was due to be held in China in the summer of 2021.
However, with this year’s European Championships and Copa America both having been put back 12 months, the world governing body has taken the decision to delay the launch of the new tournament to a future date.
Europe have been handed eight berths in the new competition, the allocation of which is down to the discretion of UEFA.
Initial suggestions have said they would first be open to the winners of the Champions League and Europa League during the four-year cycle of the tournament, meaning Liverpool would qualify on the strength of winning a sixth European Cup last season.
However, the situation has been complicated by the European Club Association proposing that European clubs boycotted the new competition.
In an emergency meeting on Thursday, the FIFA Council also set up a working group across all their federations to look into a number of issues that have arisen due to the ongoing pandemic.
Among them is assessing the need for amendments or temporary dispensations to the regulations on the transfer of players in order to protect contract for both players and clubs, as well as potentially adjusting player registration periods.
This is due to the number of players, such as Liverpool duo Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne, who will be out of contract on June 30, a date when it’s likely many domestic leagues will still be playing to a completion given their current suspension. The summer transfer window is at present expected to open on July 1.
FIFA are also pondering a potential support fund given the economic impact faced by the various football stakeholders in each continent.
The governing body has also donated $10million to the World Health Organisation COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.