ZURICH: 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 Concacaf Gold 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.
The latest version of both the Men’s and Women’s International Match Calendars are now available on FIFA.com.