FIFA: Licensed agent scheme has failed

NASSAU - FIFA's attempt to bring players' agents under control through a licensing scheme has failed with just a quarter of transfers being carried out by officially-sanctioned dealers, the body said on Wednesday.

Delegates to FIFA's annual congress were told that the majority of transfer deals are now carried out involving intermediaries, often lawyers or family members, rather than licensed agents.

Just 25 percent of transfer deals involved officially licensed agents.

FIFA had initially looked to a licence scheme of their own before deciding in 2001 to enable national FA's to carry out their own registration scheme.

"With only 25 percent of deals involving official licensed agents, then clearly it doesn't work. There are a lot of intermediaries involved now," said FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke (pictured).

"That is why we are setting up a sub-group involving different stakeholders such as (players' union) FIFPRO to see how to go forward," Valcke added.

"We are definitely not happy with what has happened and we have to tackle it," he said.

FIFA's congress also voted on plans to tighten up the outlawing of international transfers for under-18 players which includes registration of all players in academies or soccer schools - whether run by a club or a private entity.

So-called 'training fees' - transfer fees paid for young players - will be increased as a deterrent to 'poachers' of teenage talent.

"We have to protect those clubs investing in training young players as opposed to those buying off the shelf," said Geoff Thompson of the English FA.

No decision was taken over changing the age-limits for the Olympic football tournament.

FIFA's executive had favoured changing from the current under-23 format to under-21 but rather than a vote, FIFA asked a task force to look into the best format.