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A Review Of FIFA’s Minor Application Guide For U18 International Transfers

A Review Of FIFA’s Minor Application Guide For U18 International Transfers
Friday, 08 January 2021 By Enric Ripoll González

To prevent child exploitation, FIFA prohibits the international transfer of minors - i.e. players under the age of 18.  There are however a small number of exceptions to the rule, which are regulated and overseen by FIFA.  Article 19 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP)[1] sets out the regime, and requires a sub-committee of FIFA’s Players’ Status Committee (PSC) to review and approve (or reject) all applications for the international transfer of minors.  The applications are submitted by national football associations who, under Article 19bis RSTP, are required to keep a register of all minors playing at professional academies in their country.   

To help stakeholders better understand the process and the detailed documents required to support applications for the international transfer of minors, FIFA has developed a ‘Minor Application Guide’ (Guide) to supplement the RSTP.    

In September 2020, FIFA released an updated version[2] of the Guide.  This provides a summary of the Guide’s requirements and makes some observations on the current system.  Specifically, it looks at:

  • Background to the protection of minors and the ban on international transfers;
  • The exceptions to the ban and the evidence required under the Guide;
  • How the application procedure works; and,
  • What more can be done to create opportunities for minors whilst protecting their welfare?

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Written by

Enric Ripoll González

Enric Ripoll González

Enric is Founder of the Sports Law Firm ERG Sports Law & Arbitration, with extensive private practice experience of dealing with sports regulatory matters, whether contentious or non-contentious, including in respect of all legal issues pertaining to football transfers, minors, disciplinary and Ethics proceedings. He has represented clients before governing bodies such as National Associations, ITF, UEFA, CONMEBOL, AFC, FIFA, World Athletics, and the CAS.

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