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  • Writer's pictureEspen Auberg

FIFA's regulations on transfer for minors

FIFAs transfer regulations, the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (FIFA RSTP) states that international transfers, as a starting point, is only accepted for players aged 18 years or older. This means that it is not possible to conclude an international transfer of a player under the age of 18 unless one of the following exeptions are fulfilled:

1) The player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for reasons not linked to football.

2) The player is at least 16 years old, and the transfer takes place between two member assosiations within the territory of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA). For such transfers, the new club miust fulfil a set of obligations such as providing the player with high standard football education. Furthermore, the new club must offer the player high academic or vocational education, and ensure that the player is cared for in the best possible way. Following Brexit, English clubs is now prevented from signing players from foreign clubs under the age of 18, once Brexit has been formalised.

3) The player transfers to a club maximum 100 km from the player’s domicile. In such a transfer, the player must continue to live at home.

In addition to the three exemptions, RSTP art. 19.3 provides a ‘5-year rule’ which, allows the first registration of a foreign minor with a club in a country where the player has continuously lived for at least five years.

FIFA RSTP further states that any transfer of minors must be approved by FIFA Players’ Status Committee, which in practice means that national associations must submit an application to FIFA before registering a minor. Violations of the FIFA regulations may be sanctioned by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.


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