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Football: how young is too young for a professional transfer?

by on January 25, 2016

This article in The Conversation by Eleanor Drywood explores the issue of young players who are the subject of international football transfers by Europe’s top clubs.  And they are complaining you ask?  Yes, and it seems there is good reason to be concerned.  FIFA has rules regulating the transfer of players under-18 yet it appears these are often ignored and many managers in the game seem to think they are unnecessary.

The top clubs undoubtedly can provide unrivaled opportunities for young players and many have excellent academy set ups however the issues are somewhat different for those who do not progress in their career at this stellar level.  Moreover the article reports worrying details of “trafficking” networks in which young boys (so far, only boys it seems though at the women’s game becomes more lucrative that might yet change) are sought from poor areas and promised a dream of footballing glory.  15,000 such young players are estimated to be in Europe.

The article does not suggest an outright ban will be effective and the author points out that for some, the dream will be realized, but more support and regulation for those who do not make it is strongly urged.



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