LONDON: FIFA’s proposals to change the status of agents faces the hurdle of an appeal being put before the European Commission by the UK-based Association of Football Agents.
The impossibility of policing the agents sector has led the world federation to plan for agents, administratively, to be replaced by ‘intermediaries.’
The latter would not be required to hold a licence and would have their commission on deals capped at three per cent. This would simplify their inclusion and, theoretically, control through FIFA’s computerised transfer matching system.
However the AFA , which represents more than 300 agents in the UK, claims the deregulated approach would lead to widespread corruption.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the AFA has asked the EU Commission to complete an investigation into the new proposals before April 1, when the rules are scheduled to come into force.
AFA chairman Mel Stein was reported as saying: “We think this whole concept will reduce football to a circus . As an industry that is faced with annihilation, we also believe it is illegal and anti-competitive. If the new regulations are enforced it will be like bees around a honeypot because of the money and there will be an awful lot of bees out there stinging everybody.
“Generally speaking, everybody involved in football is highly vetted, regulated and controlled but, if that goes out the window, the results will be catastrophic.
“I am not just talking about the transfer market, either. Corruption will be rife and there will be a very real danger of match-fixing with individuals whose credentials are not known associated to players and clubs.”
The AFA has offered to self-regulate by drawing up a disciplinary code and introducing a vetting process that would be agreed with the English Football Association as well as the country’s Premier League, Football League, Football Conference and Professional Footballers’ Association.