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Latest updates from FIFA – transfer system reform

Wednesday 4th March 2020

Further to our recent update on the upcoming changes to the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (“RSTP”), the FIFA Stakeholders Committee met last week (27 February 2020) and agreed further proposals for the reform of the transfer system. A copy of the FIFA press release can be found here.

Clubs should review the anticipated changes carefully, particularly those relating to loan transfers, to consider how they may impact its recruitment of players. To assist, we have set out a summary of the key points below.

Please note that the press release confirms that, subject to final approval from the FIFA Players’ Status Committee and the FIFA Council, the changes relating to loans will come into effect from July 2020. It is envisaged that the changes to training compensation will come into force in 2022 following further consultation and approval by the FIFA Council.


The Committee endorsed the introduction of new regulations, which will ensure that loan transfers ”have a valid sporting purpose for youth development” and will impose restrictions on international loans of players who are over the age of 21.

Specifically, it is envisaged that from July 2020, clubs will be restricted to a maximum of three international loans in and three international loans out between the same clubs during the course of a season. In addition, clubs will be subject to a maximum of:

  • eight international loans in and eight international loans out during the 2020/2021 season; and
  • six international loans in and six international loans out as of the 2021/2022 season.

At a domestic level, member associations will have a period of three years from the date of the updated regulations to implement rules on their own loan system which align with the principles set out above.

As highlighted above, if approved, these changes will be implemented by new regulations ahead of July 2020.

Training Compensation

The Committee also approved the introduction of a modernised system for training compensation which will ”reward the training efforts of clubs”.

The new proposals, which are subject to further consultation, include:

  • the establishment of a new fund which will partly finance the payment of training compensation through the introduction of a 1% increase to the levy on transfer fees; and
  • new rules on the calculation of training costs and the categorisation of clubs.

The staging of domestic fixtures

Whilst not in relation to the transfer system, at the same meeting, the Committee also endorsed the principle that official domestic fixtures should be staged in the territory of the member association concerned effectively prohibiting an official domestic fixture being played abroad. New regulations on this subject will be submitted to the FIFA Council for approval in due course.

It is anticipated that there will be a number of further changes to the RSTP and the transfer system over the next twelve months. Follow Centrefield on LinkedIn and Twitter to keep up to date with our commentary on these developments.

If you would like more information on any of the points raised above or any advice in connection with the same, please contact Matthew Bennett (Partner) – or Stuart Baird (Partner) –