FIFA Regulations as a catalyst to transfer minors

FIFA Regulations as a catalyst to transfer minors
With this article, the author intends to express his concern about the current regulatory environment in football which, in his opinion, serves as an important catalyst for the transfer of minors, causing harm to the players and the leagues and clubs investing in their training and development. This article does not mean to discuss in detail the different regulations, but only touches on those parts or adverse effects of the regulations which are, in the eyes of the author, problematic.


For many years now, Belgian clubs have been investing in youth development: state of the art facilities are combined with a comprehensive approach, focused on quality training and proper education. Via regulations, the Belgian Federation and the Belgian Pro League encourage these investments. As a result, the Belgian training model flourished. Extremely talented players such as De Bruyne, Courtois, Witsel, Meunier, Lukaku and Kompany were trained in Belgium. But more importantly, they excelled with the first team in Belgium before taking the next step in their career. Of course, many other medium sized leagues have a similar training model.

This training model however undergoes enormous pressure. A recent study conducted by the Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) indicated that the early migration of football players increased substantially in recent years.

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