Fifa has ruled that all clubs will not be obliged to release their players for national duty in March and April.

In a statement released on Friday, the world football body said the development is due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“In light of the current situation concerning the Coronavirus, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided that the general football rules which normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches will not apply for the up-coming international windows in March/April,” Fifa said.

Though the March Afcon qualifiers were postponed on Friday, Zimbabwe could still be affected with the decision in a harsh way.

A team of locally-based is preparing for Chan tournament which is scheduled for April 4 until the 25th of the month. Should the local teams decide recall their players, the Warriors’ Chan campaign will be in doubt.

The team is currently camping in Harare.

The tournament itself might not take place as Fifa is considering suspending all international games in March and April.

“FIFA understands that to hold the matches under current circumstances might not only present potential health risks to players (and to the general public) but would also, most likely, compromise the sporting integrity of such matches insofar as certain teams may be deprived of their best squads whilst others may not.

“To avoid any unnecessary health risks and also situations of potential sporting unfairness, we therefore recommend that all international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment, both for players and for the general public. The final decision on this issue rests with the respective competition organisers or relevant member association in case of friendlies.”

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