Seeking to curb player agent fees, FIFA's Gianni Infantino calls on lawmakers for help and targets England | Football News - Hindustan Times
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Seeking to curb player agent fees, FIFA's Gianni Infantino calls on lawmakers for help and targets England

AP |
Apr 20, 2024 10:37 AM IST

FIFA has faced multiple legal cases in Europe brought by agents trying to block the football body’s plan for tighter regulations in the transfer market.

FIFA has called on lawmakers to help control payments to player agents in the multi-billion dollar soccer transfer market, and targeted the world’s richest league in England. English clubs paid 500 million euros (530 million dollars) in fees to agents in the year to February, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Friday, while paying just 6% of that amount — 30 million euros (32 million dollars) — to foreign clubs “that trained and developed the players signed.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino delivers a speech.(AFP)
FIFA President Gianni Infantino delivers a speech.(AFP)

“Most of this money is leaving football,” Infantino said of the agent fees in a statement on his Instagram account.

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FIFA has faced multiple legal cases in Europe brought by agents trying to block the football body’s plan for tighter regulations in the transfer market. FIFA wants to cap agent commissions at 10% of transfer fees when they acted for the selling club, and from 3% to 10% of salaries of players they represent.

Rules intended to take effect last October stalled after agents won a key legal ruling in England — by far the most lucrative market where agencies have earned tens of millions of dollars from transfers of elite players to Premier League clubs.

The tribunal in London ruled that if the English Football Association implemented the FIFA rules it would be an abuse of dominant position in breach of competition law.

FIFA knows the value of transfer and agent fees from deals between clubs in different countries which must be processed through its financial clearing house in Paris. The FIFA system also directs money from those deals toward clubs which train and nurture players earlier in their career and are entitled to a share.

“The compensation and solidarity payments are imposed by FIFA regulations and are vital for thousands of less privileged clubs who struggle to generate sufficient revenue,” Infantino said, citing the need for “transparency, accountability and better redistribution” in the transfer market.

“Because of that we were sued by some agents but FIFA will continue to defend its position in court.

“I call on governments and lawmakers to join us and play an active role in ensuring the funds generated in transfers are kept within football and are shared with clubs from all around the world.”

The FIFA leader added the less wealthy clubs “are absolutely key for current and future generations of footballers.”

Agents who brought legal challenges outside England have argued most in their profession operate at the lower end of the market and cannot afford to have their fees capped.

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