FIFA has very stringent rules regarding the status and transfer of youth players. As a general rule, an athlete cannot be transferred internationally until he/she is over eighteen (18).
Click here for a link to the “Minor Player Application Guide”. It lists the necessary documentation that needs to be included in any application for a youth player transfer. These requirements will vary depending on the individual circumstances of the player.
These regulations also apply to younger players who:
- have never been registered with a club
- are not a national of the country in which they are hoping to be registered as a first time player.
There are limited exceptions that can be used to register a minor player for a club that is at the amateur level only. An amateur club is defined as one that does not have any legal, financial or de facto link to an existing professional club.
These exceptions include such situations as:
- Parents moved to the UA for reasons that are unrelated to football. There are several subcategories that fit in this category.
- Child has lived in the country for more than five years and is intending to register in that country.
- Child is an exchange student attending an academic program abroad
- Unaccompanied Refugee player
These regulations were created to protect unaccompanied refugee players and exchange student players from discrimination and unfair treatment. The FIFA administration takes them very seriously and is solely responsible for investigating the specific facts of each individual player’s circumstances. Only the FIFA subcommittee has the authority to make a decision regarding a player.