Minors in Football - South America

Minors in Football - South America

The situation of minors in football, namely the topic concerning the transfers of minors, is a very sensitive issue in South America, in view of the “training tradition” of several countries of this continent and the particularities regarding the formation of their peoples. Besides that, concerns regarding abuses to minor players - a matter which led FIFA to establish, as general rule, the prohibition of this type of international transfers - and the impact of the players-in-training to the financials of various clubs are also relevant elements to be considered when assessing this matter within a continental context.

In general, the civil majority in South American countries is reached at the age of 18 years old. Each country has adopted, whether by means of its legislation (we observe that the South American legal systems in general have a civil law tradition), private regulation or jurisprudence, some rules applicable or related to minor football players in the national scope. We will present, in this article, highlights of this topic within the contexts of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Argentina

In the Argentinian system, there is no specific rule on the transfer of minor players. Nevertheless, the national jurisprudence on the rules issued by the Argentinian Football Federation (AFA) regarding the transfer of amateur players, as well as the provisions of National Law 27211[1] have aspects that impact this matter, as it will be shown below.

In accordance with Article 32 of the Argentinian Employment contract law (Law no. 20744), minors can only sign employment contracts from the age of 16.[2] Due to that, most of the matters regarding minors in this country concern amateur football players.

Article 207 of the AFA General Regulations[3] provides for, as to the amateur players, that a player is only considered to be a free agent if (a) he is not listed before the national federation by the club...

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