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Brussels, 5 March 2001

Outcome of discussions between the Commission and FIFA/UEFA on FIFA Regulations on international football transfers

In a meeting on 5 March 2001, Commissioners Monti, Reding and Diamantopoulou, and Presidents of FIFA Blatter and UEFA Johansson, finalised their discussions on revised FIFA Regulations on international football transfers. This was formalised through an exchange of letters between President Blatter and Commissioner Monti.

The Commissioners pointed out that the discussions do not prejudge the question of compatibility of such regulations with national law.

The Commissioners invited FIFA and UEFA to encourage clubs to start or pursue the social dialogue with the representative bodies of football players, and offered the Commission's assistance to social dialogue at European level.

As far as the compatibility with Community law is concerned, it was concluded that the following principles which meet the specific needs of the sport could pave the way to a positive solution on the competition procedure that is open against FIFA provided that these principles are fully reflected in the FIFA Regulations to be amended. FIFA, in agreement with UEFA, undertook to proceed immediately to change its existing Regulations on the status and transfers of players, in its version of 1997, on the basis of the following:

  • in the case of players aged under 23, a system of training compensation should be in place to encourage and reward the training effort of clubs, in particular small clubs;

  • creation of solidarity mechanisms that would redistribute a significant proportion of income to clubs involved in the training and education of a player, including amateur clubs;

  • international transfer of players aged under 18 to be allowed subject to agreed conditions; the football authorities will establish and enforce a code of conduct to guarantee the sporting, training and academic education to be provided:

  • creation of one transfer period per season, and a further limited mid-season window, with a limit of one transfer per player per season;

  • minimum and maximum duration of contracts of respectively 1 and 5 years;

  • contracts to be protected for a period of 3 years up to 28; 2 years thereafter;

  • the system of sanctions to be introduced should preserve the regularity and proper functioning of sporting competition so that unilateral breaches of contract are only possible at the end of a season;

  • financial compensation can be paid if a contract is breached unilaterally whether by the player or the club;

  • proportionate sporting sanctions to be applied to players, clubs or agents in the case of unilateral breaches of contract without just cause, in the protected period;

  • creation of an effective, quick and objective arbitration body with members chosen in equal numbers by players and clubs and with an independent chairman;

  • arbitration is voluntary and does not prevent recourse to national courts.

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