FIFA faces lawsuit over rules banning transfer of minors
By Brian Homewood
ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA is facing a lawsuit in a Zurich court over regulations that ban the transfer of players under the age of 18.
The case was been filed at the Zurich Commercial Court on Wednesday on behalf of a 17-year-old African player and his parents, who say that the rules make FIFA's transfer regulations unlawful.
A spokesman for Zurich law firm Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwaelte, which has brought the case, said in a statement that the player, who had represented his country at youth level, was unable to move to a club in the European Union because of the rules.
"Thereby, he and his family miss the probably unique chance of a professional and social advancement," said the statement issued on Thursday.
FIFA bans the international transfers of players under the age of 18 unless their parents have emigrated for reasons not connected to football or both the player and club are based within 50 kilometers of a national border.
The only other exception is for transfers within either the EU or European Economic Area (EEA), where the minimum age is 16.
In those cases, clubs must still ensure that the player continues his education and studies for an alternative career, as well as making sure he has a high living standard.
"FIFA implemented these regulations on the pretext that young football players such as the claimant must be protected," said the statement. Continued...