Children's rights and the regulations on the transfer of young players in football

Serhat Yilmaz, James Esson, Paul Darby, Eleanor Drywood, Carolynne Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Children who interact with football’s recruitment and transfer processes encounter a complex web of regulations and practices. Debates over how to ensure that the interests and well-being of young football players are adequately protected, and that risks to their rights and welfare are identified and addressed, have become a topic of academic, political and media concern. This commentary article provides an overview of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) regulations concerning the mobility and representation of minors in player recruitment processes, in particular the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players and the Regulations on Working with Intermediaries. We examine these regulations through the lens of the United
Nations Children’s Rights Conventions (UNCRC). In so doing, the article demonstrates how football’s regulatory frameworks and commercial practices inadvertently yield consequences that operate against the best interests of children involved in the sport. To counteract this, it is proposed that all planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of regulations involving the recruitment and transfer of young people should be explicitly informed by globally accepted standards of children’s rights, such as the UNCRC. More specifically, it is argued that FIFA should adopt an approach that places the child at the centre of regulatory frameworks and characterises the child as a ‘rights holder’.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2018

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children's rights
regulation
federation
Sports
well-being
welfare
monitoring
planning
evaluation

Keywords

  • agents
  • child exploitation
  • football
  • human rights
  • UNCRC

Cite this

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title = "Children's rights and the regulations on the transfer of young players in football",
abstract = "Children who interact with football’s recruitment and transfer processes encounter a complex web of regulations and practices. Debates over how to ensure that the interests and well-being of young football players are adequately protected, and that risks to their rights and welfare are identified and addressed, have become a topic of academic, political and media concern. This commentary article provides an overview of the F{\'e}d{\'e}ration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) regulations concerning the mobility and representation of minors in player recruitment processes, in particular the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players and the Regulations on Working with Intermediaries. We examine these regulations through the lens of the UnitedNations Children’s Rights Conventions (UNCRC). In so doing, the article demonstrates how football’s regulatory frameworks and commercial practices inadvertently yield consequences that operate against the best interests of children involved in the sport. To counteract this, it is proposed that all planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of regulations involving the recruitment and transfer of young people should be explicitly informed by globally accepted standards of children’s rights, such as the UNCRC. More specifically, it is argued that FIFA should adopt an approach that places the child at the centre of regulatory frameworks and characterises the child as a ‘rights holder’.",
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author = "Serhat Yilmaz and James Esson and Paul Darby and Eleanor Drywood and Carolynne Mason",
note = "Agergaard S and Ungruhe C (2016) Ambivalent precarity: Career trajectories and temporalities in highly skilled sports labour migration from West Africa to Northern Europe. Anthropology of Work Review 37(2): 67–78. Brackenridge C, Pitchford A, Russell K, et al. (2006) Child Welfare in Football: An Exploration of Children’s Welfare in the Modern Game. London, UK: Routledge. Bruinewoud AG and Bossart G (2016) Origins, practice and regulation of thirds-party ownership in South America. In: Transparency International, Global Corruption Report: Sport. Oxon, UK: Routledge, pp. 127–129. Clapham A (1993) Human Rights in a Private Sphere. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Colucci M (ed.) (2016) The FIFA Regulations on Working with Intermediaries: Implementation at national level. International Sports Law and Policy Bulletin 1/2016. Sports Law and Policy Centre, October. Darby P, Akindes G and Kirwin M (2007) Football academies and the migration of African football labour to Europe. Journal of Sport and Social Issues 31(2): 143–161. David P (2005) Human Rights in Youth Sport: A Critical Review of Children’s Rights in Competitive Sport. Oxon: Routledge. De Marco N (2015) The new FA intermediaries’ regulation and disputes likely to arise. Available at: https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/articles/item/the-new-fa-intermediaries-regulationsdisputes- likely-to-arise (accessed 17 February 2018). Donnelly P and Petherick L (2004) Workers’ playtime? Child labour at the extremes of the sporting spectrum. Sport in Society 7(3): 301–321. Drywood EW (2016) “When we buy a young boy…”: Migrant footballers, children’s rights and the case for EU intervention. In: Iusmen I and Stalford H (eds) The EU as a Children’s Rights Actor. Opladen, Leverkusen: Barbara Budrich, pp. 191–219. Eppel M and Miller J (2014) A critical review of FIFA’s ‘Working with Intermediaries Regulations’ 2015. Available at: https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/articles/item/a-criticalreview- of-fifa-s-working-with-intermediaries-regulations-2015 (accessed 19 January 2018). Esson J (2015a) Better off at home? Rethinking responses to trafficked West African footballers in Europe. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41(3): 512–530. Esson J (2015b) You have to try your luck: Male Ghanaian youth and the uncertainty of football migration. Environment and Planning A 47(6): 1383–1397. Esson J and Drywood E (2018) Challenging popular representations of child trafficking in football. Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice 4: 60–72. European Commission (2007) White paper on sport. Available at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legalcontent/ EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX{\%}3A52007DC0391 (accessed 4 February 2018). F{\'e}d{\'e}ration Internationale de Football Association (2014) Circular No. 1417. Available at:https:// www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/02/33/57/54/circularno.1417- newregulationsonworkingwithintermediaries_neutral.pdf (accessed 9 February 2018). F{\'e}d{\'e}ration Internationale de Football Association (2015a) Circular No. 1468. Available at: http:// resources.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/02/51/06/50/circularno.1468_e_ neutral.pdf (accessed 9 February 2018). 10 International Review for the Sociology of Sport 00(0) F{\'e}d{\'e}ration Internationale de Football Association (2015b) Regulations on Working with Intermediaries. Available at: https://img.fifa.com/image/upload/cr6dquxm2adupv8q3ply.pdf (accessed 9 February 2018). F{\'e}d{\'e}ration Internationale de Football Association (2016) Protection of minors FAQ. Available at: http://resources.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/02/83/14/23/faq_protectionofminors_ august2016_en_english.pdf (accessed 9 February 2018). F{\'e}d{\'e}ration Internationale de Football Association (2018) Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. Available at: http://resources.fifa.com/image/upload/regulations-on-the-status andtransfer- of-players-2018.pdf?cloudid=dpeoteqewj8f5doahly7 (accessed 9 February 2018). F{\'e}d{\'e}ration Internationale de Football Association Transfer Matching System (2017) Intermediaries in international transfers, 2017 edition. Available at: https://www.fifatms.com/data-reports/ reports/ (accessed 5 March 2018). Garc{\'i}a B and Meier HE (2016) Global sport power Europe? The efficacy of the European Union in global sport regulation. Journal of Common Market Studies 2016: 1–21. Geeraert A, Scheerder J and Bruyninckx H (2013) The governance network of European football: Introducing new governance approaches to steer football at the EU level. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 5(1): 113–132. Hawkins E (2015) The Lost Boys: Inside Football’s Slave Trade. London: Bloomsbury. Kilkelly U (2016) The convention on the rights of the child after twenty-five years. In: Handbook of Children’s Rights: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, pp. 80–94. KPMG (2013) Project TPO. Available at: https://www.ecaeurope.com/media/1682/tpo-report.pdf Meneses JP (2013) Ni{\~n}os futbolistas. Barcelona: Blackie Books. Poli R (2010) Agents and intermediaries. In: Chadwick S (ed.) Managing Football: An International Perspective. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann, pp. 201–216. Rossi G, Semens A and Brocard JF (2016) Sports Agents and Labour Markets: Evidence from World Football. Routledge. Shrestha B and Giron G (2006) Regional capacity building workshop on monitoring and evaluation tools and mechanisms. Save the Children. Available at: https://resourcecentre.savethechildren. net/sites/default/files/documents/1761.pdf (accessed 5 January 2018). Van der Meij N, Darby P and Liston K (2017) ‘The downfall of a man is not the end of his life’: Navigating involuntary immobility in Ghanaian football. Sociology of Sport Journal 34(2): 183–194. World Players Association (2017) Universal Declaration of Players Rights. Available at: http:// www.uniglobalunion.org/sites/default/files/imce/world_players_udpr_1-page_0.pdf (accessed 20 February 2018). Yilmaz S (2018) Protection of minors: Lessons about the FIFA RSTP from the recent Spanish cases at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The International Sports Law Journal. Epub ahead of print 25 April. DOI: 10.1007/s40318-018-0126-y.",
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Children's rights and the regulations on the transfer of young players in football. / Yilmaz, Serhat; Esson, James; Darby, Paul; Drywood, Eleanor; Mason, Carolynne .

In: International Review for the Sociology of Sport., 15.07.2018, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Journal of Sport and Social Issues 31(2): 143–161. David P (2005) Human Rights in Youth Sport: A Critical Review of Children’s Rights in Competitive Sport. Oxon: Routledge. De Marco N (2015) The new FA intermediaries’ regulation and disputes likely to arise. Available at: https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/articles/item/the-new-fa-intermediaries-regulationsdisputes- likely-to-arise (accessed 17 February 2018). Donnelly P and Petherick L (2004) Workers’ playtime? Child labour at the extremes of the sporting spectrum. Sport in Society 7(3): 301–321. Drywood EW (2016) “When we buy a young boy…”: Migrant footballers, children’s rights and the case for EU intervention. In: Iusmen I and Stalford H (eds) The EU as a Children’s Rights Actor. Opladen, Leverkusen: Barbara Budrich, pp. 191–219. Eppel M and Miller J (2014) A critical review of FIFA’s ‘Working with Intermediaries Regulations’ 2015. Available at: https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/articles/item/a-criticalreview- of-fifa-s-working-with-intermediaries-regulations-2015 (accessed 19 January 2018). Esson J (2015a) Better off at home? Rethinking responses to trafficked West African footballers in Europe. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41(3): 512–530. Esson J (2015b) You have to try your luck: Male Ghanaian youth and the uncertainty of football migration. Environment and Planning A 47(6): 1383–1397. Esson J and Drywood E (2018) Challenging popular representations of child trafficking in football. Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice 4: 60–72. European Commission (2007) White paper on sport. Available at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legalcontent/ EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52007DC0391 (accessed 4 February 2018). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (2014) Circular No. 1417. Available at:https:// www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/02/33/57/54/circularno.1417- newregulationsonworkingwithintermediaries_neutral.pdf (accessed 9 February 2018). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (2015a) Circular No. 1468. Available at: http:// resources.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/02/51/06/50/circularno.1468_e_ neutral.pdf (accessed 9 February 2018). 10 International Review for the Sociology of Sport 00(0) Fédération Internationale de Football Association (2015b) Regulations on Working with Intermediaries. Available at: https://img.fifa.com/image/upload/cr6dquxm2adupv8q3ply.pdf (accessed 9 February 2018). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (2016) Protection of minors FAQ. Available at: http://resources.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/02/83/14/23/faq_protectionofminors_ august2016_en_english.pdf (accessed 9 February 2018). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (2018) Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. Available at: http://resources.fifa.com/image/upload/regulations-on-the-status andtransfer- of-players-2018.pdf?cloudid=dpeoteqewj8f5doahly7 (accessed 9 February 2018). Fédération Internationale de Football Association Transfer Matching System (2017) Intermediaries in international transfers, 2017 edition. Available at: https://www.fifatms.com/data-reports/ reports/ (accessed 5 March 2018). García B and Meier HE (2016) Global sport power Europe? The efficacy of the European Union in global sport regulation. Journal of Common Market Studies 2016: 1–21. Geeraert A, Scheerder J and Bruyninckx H (2013) The governance network of European football: Introducing new governance approaches to steer football at the EU level. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 5(1): 113–132. Hawkins E (2015) The Lost Boys: Inside Football’s Slave Trade. London: Bloomsbury. Kilkelly U (2016) The convention on the rights of the child after twenty-five years. In: Handbook of Children’s Rights: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, pp. 80–94. KPMG (2013) Project TPO. Available at: https://www.ecaeurope.com/media/1682/tpo-report.pdf Meneses JP (2013) Niños futbolistas. Barcelona: Blackie Books. Poli R (2010) Agents and intermediaries. In: Chadwick S (ed.) Managing Football: An International Perspective. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann, pp. 201–216. Rossi G, Semens A and Brocard JF (2016) Sports Agents and Labour Markets: Evidence from World Football. Routledge. Shrestha B and Giron G (2006) Regional capacity building workshop on monitoring and evaluation tools and mechanisms. Save the Children. Available at: https://resourcecentre.savethechildren. net/sites/default/files/documents/1761.pdf (accessed 5 January 2018). Van der Meij N, Darby P and Liston K (2017) ‘The downfall of a man is not the end of his life’: Navigating involuntary immobility in Ghanaian football. Sociology of Sport Journal 34(2): 183–194. World Players Association (2017) Universal Declaration of Players Rights. Available at: http:// www.uniglobalunion.org/sites/default/files/imce/world_players_udpr_1-page_0.pdf (accessed 20 February 2018). Yilmaz S (2018) Protection of minors: Lessons about the FIFA RSTP from the recent Spanish cases at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The International Sports Law Journal. Epub ahead of print 25 April. DOI: 10.1007/s40318-018-0126-y.

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