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Football Intermediaries

Overview

New Regulations on Working with Intermediaries replaced the FIFA Players’ Agents Regulations, following the approval of several necessary amendments to the FIFA Statutes and the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes by the 64th FIFA Congress. The new regulations, introduce a new approach based on the concept of intermediaries, were previously approved by the FIFA Executive Committee at its meeting on 21 March 2014 and came into force on 1 April 2015.

2. The reform process

In 2009, the 59th FIFA Congress decided to embark on an in-depth reform of the existing players’ agents system in order to address several shortfalls that had been identified with the licensing system established by the FIFA Players’ Agents Regulations. These difficulties included:

  • Inefficient licensing of players’ agents, resulting in the conclusion of many international transfers without the use of licensed agents
  • Even transfers concluded with the use of licensed agents were often intransparent and thereby not verifiable
  • Confusion regarding the differences between club representatives and players’ agents and their respective financial obligations

The aim of the review was to propose a new, more transparent system that would be easier to administer and implement, resulting in improved enforcement at national level. The FIFA Committee for Club Football established a sub-committee composed of relevant football community stakeholders to deal with this reform, including member associations, confederations, clubs, FIFPro and professional football leagues. The sub-committee prepared a set of draft regulations based on the concept of intermediaries, as well as Intermediary Declarations, to be signed by any intermediary when intervening in a transaction on behalf of a player or a club. Following the approval of the FIFA Executive Committee in March 2014 and the amendments to the FIFA Statutes at the 64th FIFA Congress in June 2014, it was decided that new Regulations on Working with Intermediaries would come into force on 1 April 2015 replacing the current FIFA Players’ Agent Regulations.

3. The new approach

The new system does not regulate access to the activity but provide a framework for tighter control and supervision of the transactions relating to transfer of football players in order to enhance transparency. The regulatory approach taken to achieve this is the introduction of minimum standards and requirements, as well as a registration system for intermediaries who represent players and/or clubs in concluding employment contracts and transfer agreements. They aim to provide players and/or clubs with the opportunity to choose any party they wish to engage as an intermediary, as long as this party meets specific criteria, fulfils best practice standards and respects certain key principals. This new regulatory approach will supersede the current licensing system on 1 April 2015. Key elements of the new regulations

  1. Transparency: full disclosure and publication of the remuneration and payments made to intermediaries as a result of transactions that they are involved in (for international transfers, further details must be inserted into FIFA’s Transfer Matching System)
  2. Payment of intermediary fees: identifying which entity (clubs or players) are responsible for paying intermediary fees and what percentage intermediaries are paid
  3. Conflicts of interest: proper disclosure if any conflicts of interest by all parties involved
  4. Protection of minors: non-payment of commission if the player concerned is a minor

Development

BFA President Letshwiti urges regional FAs to become more professional

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) President, MacLean Letshwiti today (Friday) officially closed the 5-day FIFA approved and funded programme dubbed Administration and Management Course for the Gaborone City Regional Football Association, held under the theme ‘Operation Time for Change’ at Tlotlo Conference Centre in Gaborone.
 
A welcome and refreshing undertaking, the programme, which opened on Monday, April 12th – 16th, was intended to achieve a renewal in terms of how football is managed at all levels throughout the country, facilitated by FIFA instructor and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting.
 
The objectives of the programme included the empowerment of leaders, both Regional Structures and Clubs, on the management of the game; engaging participants on the importance of Stakeholder management, as well as identifying for further training prospective national course instructors in Administration and Management, with a view that once qualified, they will continue to train up and coming Administrators in the Regions on football administration.

Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consultancy

 
In his remarks, the BFA President said the programme has seen more than 500 participants across the country benefiting at a cost over P4 million courtesy of football’s world governing body, FIFA.
 
“I am delighted to see that our regions participated in this programme with large numbers, and they have also shown willingness and strong commitment to learn fittingly. For us to run professional leagues, and independent regional associations, we must equip our personnel with the right courses that enable them to be professional and act along the FIFA standards and statutes. The BFA will under my leadership be a frontrunner in improving the standards of football both administratively and in the field,” said Letshwiti.
 
Letshwiti noted that Botswana was one of the first countries to benefit from the FIFA Operation Time for Change project, saying this goes to show the level of commitment the local FA has for the growth of the sport.

Gaborone Regional Football Association Chairperson Tsheko

 
The project, which was facilitated by FIFA instructor and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting ranged from governance, technical, sponsorship, fan base management, financial management and competitions amongst others.
 
“There is a lot of hope as the Gaborone region is in the capital city where the headquarters are. I am also happy that the region now has an office, and this is where all the 49 teams in the Gaborone region can go get serviced. After this weeklong engagement, the region has assured me that they will bring about the much-needed change of how they have been running their matters including sub-constitution from the parent constitution to give the chairman powers to run the region professionally. This is the biggest investment the FA has made, and it has to be put into practice. If all the stakeholders can all pull in the same direction, the BFA can be one of the strongest FAs at FIFA level,” said Mamelodi in his closing remarks.
 
For his part, the Gaborone regional FA, Vice Chairperson, Thapelo Mothusi said as the region they are grateful for all the lessons learnt from the Operation Time for Change course. He said all club administrators have been fully equipped with critical lessons to implement at their various clubs.

BFA President Maclean Letshwiti

 
As it was the last day of the course, all participants were tasked with case studies to mimic real football situations, ranging from organizing the play-offs, youth tournaments and event management.
 
Meanwhile, The BFA Technical officer, Tshepo Mphukuthi further assured the delegates that in the upcoming football season, the CAF regulations will be intensified, and teams will have to have coaches with relevant coaching badges to be illegible to coach particularly at CAF competitions.

BFA acting TD Dr Carolin Braun and BFA Chief Protocol Officer Spencer Mmui

 
From Gaborone, the Operation Time for Change programme will head out to the Kgatleng Regional FA, from April 26th – 30th, and call it a wrap in Palapye from 10th – 14th May 2021 with the Central/North Regional FA (Serowe).

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