During its Executive Committee meeting this week UEFA unanimously voted to submit a formal request to FIFA, football’s world governing body, asking it to impose a ban on the international transfer of players under the age of 18.
UEFA’s request is intended to limit the negative affects of uprooting younger talent. In a statement on the matter, UEFA President Lennart Johansson said ‘It is the responsibility of the football authorities to find solutions to protect young players, and their clubs as well, world-wide for the benefit and the future of the game.’
With many players as young as 14 or 15 leaving for bigger clubs abroad, particularly for clubs in Europe, there is concern that frameworks for their continued schooling and well-being are not in place – especially when the move does not turn out to be a success.
FIFA is the only body empowered to make limits on such transfers. Although legal complications may mean a complete international ban is not achievable, UEFA would still like to see clubs forced to provide for the security of young players that move to clubs abroad.