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FIFA RSTP Updates (Nov 22 & Mar 23) - Academy Reporting & Flexible Transfer Windows

Soccer Players
Wednesday, 19 April 2023 By Rustam Sethna, Harry Bambury

On 8 November 2022, FIFA announced certain amendments to the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP), which entered into force on 16 November 2022 (see: circular 18161) (the 2022 Amendment). This was followed by a subsequent round of amendments, notified in circular 18392 on 31 March 2023, which enter into force on 1 May 2023 (the 2023 Amendment).

The November 2022 Amendment broadly dealt with the safeguarding and international transfer of minors (defined by the RSTP as players under the age of 18). Specifically, these amendments related to:

  1. The ‘humanitarian exception’, already provided for by Article 19(2)(d) of the RSTP;

  1. A new framework by which clubs could accept players on trial;

  1. Reporting obligations for academies, including private academies operating outside the realms of ‘organised football’;

  1. The introduction of minimum standards to safeguard minors who transfer internationally.

The March 2023 Amendment seeks to give member associations more flexibility in setting their own transfer windows, subject to the existing maximum aggregate of 16 weeks per season. It also affords unemployed the opportunity to register with a club outside the transfer window.

FIFA have also issued helpful explanatory notes to these changes, which can be accessed here3 (for the 2022 Amendment) and here4 (for the 2023 Amendment).

Rather than replicate the contents of the FIFA explanatory notes, this article will aim to provide an overview and analysis of the amendments from a practical perspective:

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Written by

Rustam Sethna

Rustam Sethna

Rustam is an Associate on the sports law team at Mills & Reeve LLP, focusing on sports disputes and regulatory matters. He holds a master’s in International Sports Law from ISDE (Madrid) and is also a member of the Disciplinary Panel at England Boxing and the Anti-Doping Committee at the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation.
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Harry Bambury

Harry Bambury

Harry is a trainee solicitor at Mills & Reeve based in the firm’s Birmingham office. Harry has worked on a number of sports law matters, ranging from anti-doping cases to work permit applications for professional footballers. Before starting at Mills & Reeve, Harry studied jurisprudence at the University of Oxford.

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