AFC/FIFA COVID Pandemic: Further Changes To The International Match Calendars

In addition to the previous decisions by the FIFA Council, the Bureau of the Council has unanimously approved a set of further changes to the men’s and women’s international match calendars in response to the global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which persists in most parts of the world.

These changes follow a thorough consultation process with the Confederations and football stakeholders. This process resulted in proposals via the FIFA-Confederations COVID-19 Working Group that maintain the previously agreed principle that a tailor-made and flexible approach between Confederations is required, reflecting the varied circumstances of the pandemic across the world. The main changes are the following:

Men’s international match calendar

  • to replace the window from 31 August to 8 September 2020 with a window from 24 January to 1 February 2022 for all Confederations except UEFA. This means that there is no mandatory release of players for Member Associations from these Confederations in September 2020;
  • to include the new period of January 2022 for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), with the exact dates to be determined at a later stage; and
  • to include the new dates of the CONCACAFGold Cup 2021 (preliminary rounds from 2 to 6 July 2021 and final tournament from 10 July to 1 August 2021) with a mandatory release starting on 28 June 2021.

Women’s international match calendar

  • to replace the dates for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, originally scheduled from 22 July to 7 August 2020, with new dates of 21 July to 6 August 2021;
  • to finalise the dates of the originally scheduled Type I window in June-July 2021 as 7 to 15 June 2021;
  • to cancel the existing window of 14 to 22 September 2020 for all Confederations except UEFA;
  • to include alongside the existing Type I window from 13 to 21 September 2021, an alternative option of a Type III window from 13 to 25 September 2021 for all Confederations except UEFA;
  • to finalise the dates of the existing Type II window in June-July 2021 as 7 to 16 June 2021 for all Confederations except UEFA;
  • to remove the current blocked period for the Women’s AFCON from 23 November to 20 December 2020; and
  • to include UEFA in the blocked period from 4 July to 7 August 2022.

The FIFA-Confederations COVID-19 Working Group will continue to monitor the situation in each Confederation and if required make additional proposals to the FIFA Council.


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