One problem that the new breed of management running the game of football in Australia have is understanding that on a number of issues they do not have the power to make decisions. Football is run by a governing body, FIFA and all of its member confederations are duty bound to follow the laws of FIFA. Many of these laws are in fact put in place to protect both players and amateur or semi-professional clubs. These rules are not negotiable, and a failure to comply has seen many national football Federations severely punished or suspended from international competition.
One such law is that compensation fees for clubs who have helped develop a player being given a professional contract must be paid within 28 days of the contract being signed. Yet in Australia clubs around the country have been waiting up to and over a year, sometimes longer for their entitlements. No matter how many times questions are asked as to why this is the case a clear answer is never forthcoming.
Another issue that raised its head recently in Western Australia, and Not The Footy Show believed also in Victoria was that of a player having dual registration.
In Western Australia Ndumba Makeche a member of Perth Glory’s senior squad and on a full professional contract took to the field in the state Premier league playing for the NTC development team. As you would expect he excelled and tore opposition teams to shreds. The question is how could he be playing in this competition? He was not on loan as is the normal way a full time professional player under contract manages game time.
Not The Footy Show contacted Football West to ask. Football West General Manager Competitions, Keith Wood advised, “FFA allows dual registration of professional players in exceptional circumstances. These exceptional circumstances in the case of elite younger players are often related to player’s development.” He did copy in one of his colleagues to supply more information on ‘the technical development of younger players,’ but an answer was never received.
Having checked the FIFA laws there is no such thing as a dual registration, so rather than wasting time with the FFA who had according to Football West authorised this we approached the Asian Football Confederation, under whose control the FFA fall. Their response was “The status of any player under the jurisdiction of FIFA and as such this matter should be referred to FIFA.”
FIFA’s response was that under The Regulations and Status of the Transfer of Players “section 5 par. 2 stipulates that a player may only be registered with one club at a time.” They also advised that in the same document and this applied to all member nations, “Article 1 par. 3a) states that the above provisions are binding at national level.”
This raises a number of issues, first of all who in the FFA has gone against FIFA in authorising dual registrations, and how can they not be aware of the rules? The second is if a club had played an ineligible player they would have been fined and probably docked points, as the games governing body in the West and the FFA have approved a player playing when he is not entitled to they will not fine themselves, but they will surely find it hard to now sanction other clubs.
Such issues should never arise and that is why FIFA has such rules, so that everyone around the world is playing under as close to the same conditions as possible. This is an international game played globally, not just in a few countries, and it is vital that the rules are adhered to for the good of the game and all those who play and watch it.