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FIFA moves closer to restricting loans, limiting agents fees

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By Reuters
FIFA moves closer to restricting loans, limiting agents fees
FILE PHOTO: The logo of FIFA is seen in front of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo   -   Copyright  Arnd Wiegmann(Reuters)

ZURICH (Reuters) – FIFA has moved closer to a reform of the transfer system after a key committee backed proposals to restrict loans and limit agents’ fees, the global soccer body said on Tuesday.

The stakeholders committee, featuring representatives from clubs, leagues, players and national associations, also approved a plan to create a clearing house to process transfers, following a meeting in London.

However, it did not mention a proposal in a white paper produced by its transfer system task force — which was seen by Reuters earlier this month — to create an algorithm to calculate transfer fees.

FIFA said it was agreed that loans should be used for the “purpose of youth development as opposed to commercial exploitation” and there should be a limit on the number of loans each club could make in a given season.

The committee also supported “new and stronger regulations for agents” including limits on how much they could earn and on how many different parties they could represent in a given transaction.

FIFA said the clearing house would be to “process transfers with the aim of protecting the integrity of football and avoiding fraudulent conduct.”

“We have brought everyone to the table and all key actors of the industry have understood that we need to take action, leading today to this reform proposal,” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino in the statement.

“This is a significant first step towards achieving greater transparency… and developing a consensus on how to tackle the issue of agents, loans and other key aspects of the transfer system.”

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis)