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Sports News

FIFA to push on with new 'cap' and rules for agents

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - FIFA will push ahead with plans to cap commissions on transfer fees for agents and enforce a licence scheme, even if its new regulations are opposed by some agents.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Official Draw for the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 - Zurich, Switzerland - September 4, 2018 General view of the FIFA logo before the start of the draw REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

FIFA announced last September a cap that would limit agents of the selling club to 10% of the transfer fee, and 3% of the player’s fee for agents of the buying club.

The new regulations, which are scheduled to take effect in January, 2022, will also force agents to become licensed and undergo an exam conducted by FIFA, as well as make public all transactions, allowing fans to see how much agents are paid on deals.

FIFA said on Thursday that it is starting its third and final “consultation process” on the new regulations before submitting the reforms to a vote at the FIFA Council with the aim of bringing them into effect next season.

Leading agents have been critical of the proposals and threatened legal action.

Emilio Garcia Silvero, FIFA’s Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, told reporters that the ruling body would continue to consult with agents but was determined to push forward with the changes.

“If we can’t agree with the agents then we will move ahead. We are committed to this,” he said, adding that the proposals should not be seen as hostile to agents.

“This is not a project against the agents, this is a project for the agents, that is a very important message,” he said.

“We would like to work with them, they play a highly relevant role in football.

“There are hundreds and thousands who are operating in a proper way,” added Garcia Silvero, who said a new Football Agents Disputes Tribunal would help agents who found themselves not getting paid on international deals.

“This is not a project against agents, those who see this (as) a project against agents, it is because they are hiding something,” he added.

“There are a big group of agents who are also happy with the basic principles and we are all committed to reach a final agreement and a consensus.”

FIFA said that commissions paid to agents involved in international transfers totalled a record $653.9 million in 2019, four times more than they earned in 2015.

The process of becoming an agent will involve a “character test” and an annual fee as well as continued education and relevant insurance will all be compulsory.

Agents will be barred from holding any interest, directly or indirectly, in a football club or a federation or other football body.

Contracts for commissions should be set out in advance in writing under the new system, which aims to end late claims for commissions when a deal is being closed.

A previous much looser licence scheme was abandoned by FIFA in 2015.

Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond

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