Goal 1
Goal 1

Modernise the regulatory framework ­

3 min. reading time

Modernise the football regulatory framework

The rules governing football are established to protect the game in its entirety, and the events of 2020 illustrated more than ever the need to be both evolutionary and transparent in their modernisation. Regulatory developments have considered the mid- to long-term needs of all global football stakeholders, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Review the international match calendar with a global approach

The global pandemic brought the football community to a standstill, disrupting competitions worldwide. Both the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2020™ and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020™ were first deferred and then cancelled, with the hosting rights for the respective 2022 editions granted to those countries. The FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020™ was also put back to February 2021, and the new 24-club competition, initially scheduled for 2021 in China PR, was likewise postponed.

The FIFA-Confederations COVID-19 Working Group managed global calendar changes to minimise the impact on players, and also paved the way for a healthy debate with stakeholders on the post-2024 international match calendar.

Reform the transfer system

Important steps were taken to achieve greater transparency within the transfer system, effectively enforcing rules that will lead to money remaining and being reinvested in the game.

The implementation of the “second reform package”, which regulates the representation and remuneration of agents, the loan mechanisms, and the training reward regime, began following extensive stakeholder consultation and input.

The FIFA Clearing House subsidiary was established with the objective of centralising and simplifying player transfer payments and ensuring the avoidance of fraudulent conduct, while a new global regulatory framework was also created to better protect employment conditions for female players and football coaches.

Analyse the Laws of the Game for their potential optimisation

FIFA has driven enhancements to the Laws of the Game to meet football’s contemporary needs.

Following FIFA’s input and extensive consultation, and The IFAB’s approval, the FIFA Club World Cup 2020 became the first tournament to trial concussion substitutes, while, due to a more compact playing schedule, teams were allowed to make up to five substitutions per match.

Introduce mechanisms to protect football stakeholders

Under the critical message “health comes first”, FIFA acted to safeguard all involved in the game from the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic by establishing the FIFA-Confederations Working Group in March 2020 to provide guidelines that would address the legal impact of the pandemic. The FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan provided immediate liquidity
relief to FIFA’s member associations (MAs), making available USD 1.5 billion to support the football community. The introduction of the FIFA International Match Protocol ensured the safe return of international football.

With the support of world players’ union FIFPRO, the FIFA Fund for Football Players was established to provide financial support to players who have not been paid, while additional support documentation was published, ranging from the FIFA Legal Handbook and the Manual on Third-Party Influence and Ownership in Football Agreements to the Guide to Submitting a Minor Application and an explainer on the eligibility rules to play for representative teams. Such initiatives were reinforced by the launch of a new integrity toolkit to enhance existing measures against match manipulation across MAs and confederations.