transferencia de jugadores

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Last week, FIFA, the international governing body of football, issued a series of amendments to its Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (“RSTP”), which will come into force for the most part on March 1, 2020, with the exception of some measures that will take effect on July 1, 2020, ready for the new season.

The substantial modifications include an increased application of the solidarity mechanism in relation to national transfers with an international dimension. The solidarity mechanism means that if a professional football player transfers to another club during the course of a contract, any club that has contributed to the player’s education and training will be entitled to receive 5% of the transfer fee paid to his or her former club, depending on the years that the player was registered with each club involved in the training.

From March, player transfers between clubs affiliated with the same association, providing that the club involved in the training is affiliated with a different association, will imply the right to receive the solidarity contribution.

Another amendment is the incorporation of two new exceptions under Article 19 of the RSTP, which prohibits the international transfer of minors. Until now, the RSTP provided for three exceptions to the general prohibition.

FIFA will now allow the international transfer of minors if: (i) they are fleeing their country of origin without their parents for humanitarian reasons, specifically to protect their life or freedom; and (ii) when they are studying and move without their parents to another country temporarily to undertake an academic exchange program. With the latter, the duration of the player’s registration until 18 years old or until the end of the academic program cannot exceed one year, and the new club must be purely amateur without a professional team or without a legal, financial or de facto link to a professional club. Likewise, both the player’s parents and the host parents must consent to the player’s registration.

Other amendments look to (i) optimizing the provisional registration process for players when, for example, the player’s former association has not provided the International Transfer Certificate; and (ii) ensuring registration efficiency through the Transfer Matching System. Finally, one of the most important reforms, the long-awaited regulation and prohibition of “bridge transfers.”

This refers to any two consecutive transfers of the same player between tree clubs, where the first of these is an intermediary category 4 club (in Spain, this category applies from the third division). In such cases, there will be no entitlement to compensation for training as it will be exempt.

Until now, there has been nothing to prevent such operations, as Article 5 of the RSTP allowed players to be registered with up to three clubs during the same season and this enabled clubs to avoid paying compensation for training. However, through its definition and prohibition under the new Article 5.bis of the RSTP, FIFA has put an end to these types of practices, qualifying them as “illegitimate.”

Also, with the aim of guaranteeing rapid effectiveness of the measure, the evidential burden is inverted, meaning that there will be a presumption that the parties have participated in a “bridge transfer” if the same player is involved in two consecutive transfers nationally or internationally, within a period of 16 months. To avoid disciplinary sanction, the parties must provide evidence to rebut this presumption.

In conclusion, the majority of these new amendments introduced by FIFA look to guarantee greater transparency and legal certainty in player transfers.

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