Amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players by FIFA – Part II
By Gavin Dingley (FCIArb)
This is Part II of my three-part series on the amendments to the RSTP and follows on from my post last week. The amendments which I mention below came into force on 1st October 2019.
2. Amendment to the “Registration” of Players.
Under the previous and the present versions of the RSTP, it was not specified how amateur and professional players should be registered; whether that be manually or electronically.
Article 5 (1) of the RSTP 2019 provides:
“A player must be registered at an association to play for a club as either a professional or an amateur in accordance with the provisions of article 2. Only registered players are eligible to participate in organised football. By the act of registering, a player agrees to abide by the statutes and regulations of FIFA, the confederations and the associations.”
However, under FIFA Circular No 1679 dated 1st July 2019, national associations will henceforth be required by FIFA to have an ‘Electronic Player Registration System’ for all male and female players, whether professionals or amateurs. Under this system, a player must be given a FIFA ID when the player is first registered by their national association.
The amendments in the Circular state:
“Each association must have an electronic player registration system, which must assign each player a FIFA ID when the player is first registered. A player must be registered at an association to play for a club as either a professional or an amateur in accordance with the provisions of article 2. Only electronically registered players are eligible to participate in organised football …”
From the amendments, one can deduce that when FIFA begins to implement compliance, players who are not electronically registered and without a FIFA ID will not be able to participate in organised football. Nevertheless, while this amendment came into force on 1st October 2019, mandatory implementation will only commence as of 1st July 2020.
Why does this matter?
As has previously been argued before at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, albeit in an anti-doping context, the strenuous rules that govern FIFA and its constituent associations would not apply to a player where the player in question has not consented or agreed to abide by them. This removes FIFA’s overarching jurisdiction from the player.
However, by mandating registration as outlined above, FIFA avoids that conundrum entirely as by registering with FIFA the player agrees to abide by its rules. This is clearly articulated in Article 5 (1) of the RSTP 2019.
To be continued… (End of Part 2)