FIFA to clamp down on international transfers

BERNE - FIFA plans to clamp down on international transfers through closer monitoring of clubs and players rather than relying on the regulation of non-member agents, football's world governing body said on Tuesday. Marco Villiger, FIFA's head of legal affairs, said that only 25 to 30 percent of international transfers were concluded through licensed agents. "We will try to switch from regulating individuals who are not members of FIFA and monitor more the acts of our direct members, which are the players and clubs," he told a media conference call. "Reality has developed in a completely different situation to the regulations, so we have decided to launch a new approach rather than keep correcting the system. "We will go to the players and the clubs and remind them of the responsibilities they have whenever they get in contact with intermediaries. "We will issue a set of requirements they have to meet whenever they use an intermediary, who could be a lawyer, a family member or other person who we would endorse." Villiger said that a task force - consisting of three FIFA members and three members from the International Players' Union FIFpro - had produced a first draft of the system last month and was expected to produce a final version in time for the next May's FIFA Congress. "We will establish what papers and documents are to be signed, who pays, how to regulate conflict of interests, where the fee has to be paid and on what terms," said Villiger. "Whenever we detect that someone has not adhered to the regulations we will then impose sanctions and it is clear that these sanctions must be harsh. MORE TRANSPARENCY Villiger said that the introduction of a so-called Transfer Matching System would also lead to greater transparency in international transfers. He said that transfers would only be authorised once both the buying and selling clubs had separately entered data into a Web-based system, including the players' name, the fee, the agent and how much commission had been paid. "The transfer matching system will allow us to track the money flow from one club to another or from one club to an agent," he said. "What it will not be able to do and what is also not the task of FIFA in general, is to detect money laundering because this is clearly the job of the state authorities."