To help clubs during the coronavirus pandemic, FIFA has confirmed that it will allow the transfer window to open before the end of the delayed 2019-20 season.

The disease and the resulting disruption of football activities have hit clubs hard around the world and has created considerable doubt about the future.

Thousands of player contracts expire in June, leaving them officially free agents despite restarting activities with the Bundesliga which began in May.

Another area of uncertainty was about the coming window, with clubs unclear as to whether new signatures would be eligible for a feature in the remaining 2019-20 fixtures.

FIFA has therefore moved this summer to provide clarity on the situation with new guidelines for both affected parties, explaining that registration of new players would be allowed before the closing of the current season.

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A statement released on Thursday by the world governing body explained: “To avoid any concerns about the unemployed players, players are allowed to register with a maximum of three clubs and are eligible to play in official matches for three clubs in the same season. To give priority to clubs to complete their 2019-20 season with their original squad, provide flexibility and allow associations to plan their football calendar properly, those associations are allowed to start the ‘first registration period’ for the 2020-21 season, subject to certain conditions, before the completion of the 2019-20 season.”

Richard Masters, chief executive of the Premier League, has already said England’s top-flight does not allow clubs to sign players before July 25, after the delayed campaign is over. Most leagues in the European Union have similar plans.

Fifa also confirmed players will be able to compete in the same season with up to three clubs – instead of the normal two.

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