Norwegian league temporarily lays off players during shutdown

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Professional players in Norway have been temporarily laid off, according to a report by Reuters that cites the confirmation from the players’ union NISO in Norway.

The financial impact of a stoppage of play has begun to become a reality, and while England has publicly begun to discuss how to keep smaller clubs with less cash reserves afloat, other countries are beginning to take action.

Norway was one of the first countries to take action once the virus begun to spread, quarantining players for 14 days if they had recently traveled abroad, while

“They are only temporarily laid off at the discretion of their clubs and it is because the authorities have decided that all sports activities, including training, will be stopped until March 26 – they are not dismissed, but are not allowed to work for a temporary period,” said NISO director Joachim Walltin.

“The authorities have provided emergency packages to help and anyone earning between 75,000 and 600,000 Norwegian crowns ($7,000 and $55,000) per year will receive full pay for up to 20 days — what happens after March 26, we must wait and see.”

Walltin said that young players on cheaper contracts as well as foreign players on shorter contracts are at-risk and has met with clubs to see them not fall through the cracks. “Those who earn less than 75,000 crowns and foreign players who do not have a contract of 12 months or more will not be entitled to unemployment benefits, and we and club organizations and federations have encouraged the clubs to pay special attention to these players.”

The 2020 Norwegian Eliteserien season has not yet kicked off. It was scheduled to begin on March 20 but was postponed due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

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