At the 2005 Congress in Marrakech, FIFA created the 'For the
Good of the Game' Task Force in an attempt to solve the
problems currently affecting football. Principles were adopted by
its members, who for the first time were drawn from all areas of
the sport: players, clubs, leagues, federations and confederations.
It was originally made up of three sections - finance, political
and competitions - which gave way to a Strategic Committee,
approved at the 2007 FIFA Congress and whose aims were to put the
designated principles into action.
In October 2007, nine crucial subjects were discussed and
approved by the Executive Committee of football's world
governing body. The aim was to implement or reinforce the relevant
rules regarding some of the fundamental issues in the modern game:
an electronic transfer recording system, third-party influence on
clubs, an advance warning system to combat illegal betting, the new
rule regarding players' agents, protecting the promotion and
relegation system for clubs, implementing an electoral code for
national associations, creating tribunals to resolve disputes in
each country, an international club licensing system and a standard
agreement on collaboration.
"FIFA has decided to take action in order to protect the
unpredictability of sporting results and the integrity of
competition which have been under threat recently within
football," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter at the time.
"The Strategic Committee demonstrated right from its first
meeting in October that it would tackle these problems head on.
"From the beginning of 2008, you will see in real terms
the applications of the measures taken by the Committee. The
various measures all have the same objective - to promote and
FIFA.com outlines the decisions taken by the
Executive Committee, the objectives of those measures which came
into force on 1 January 2008 and the expected dates on which they
will be implemented, as well as giving actual examples of what they
should help avoid in the future.
The electronic transfer recording system
- Concept: Transfers are currently made by fax between the
national associations of the clubs involved. The new system will be
on the Internet, providing clubs with the kind of modern electronic
technology required to keep pace with the volume of transfers in
today's market. The system will include bank transfers to be
carried out strictly between the clubs involved. Moreover, it
allows for crucial data to be recorded which will enable the
validity of the transactions to be checked.
- Objective: The advantages are twofold: it facilitates
transfers and shows where the money is coming from and going to,
with the aim of making transfers more transparent.
- Application: 30 pilot countries were selected and began
the implementation of the system on 1 January 2008.
- Example: FIFA received no fewer than 25,000 international
transfer certificates in 2006, with numerous irregularities in this
batch. Henceforth, these will be detected by the electronic system
which will provide the relevant authorities with any proof they
need in the event of legal action.
Third-party influence on clubs
- Concept: Certain third parties intervene in transfers
since they "own" all or part of a player's rights.
Under the new ruling, the club will not be able to authorise a
third party to enter into transfer or employment contracts, meaning
they will not be able to have an influence on the independence,
rules or performances of the teams of the club in question.
- Objective: To simplify contractual relationships between
the players, agents and clubs involved which are by their very
nature already highly complex.
- Application: This article has already been integrated into
the new Ruling on the Status and Transfer of Players as article
- Example: A businessman claiming to have the rights to a
player has negotiated the latter's transfer to a new club
without involving the player's former club in the negotiations.
The club therefore opposes the transfer and the legal ramifications
mean that the case goes to a sporting arbitration tribunal. This is
a situation which FIFA is looking to avoid from now on thanks to
this clarification of the Ruling on the Status and Transfer of
Advance warning system to combat illegal betting
- Concept: This is a monitoring system which will highlight
any irregularities which occur in betting on football at a
sufficiently early stage, giving FIFA advance warning of any
possible influence on matches. The preventative alert system was
tested during the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™. The FIFA Congress
decided at the end of May 2007 to institutionalise the system and
the monitoring of gambling activities involving qualifying matches
for South Africa 2010 and during the tournament itself.
- Objective: The aim is to avoid illegal bets being taken
for matches, which lead to corruption within football designed to
bring about unexpected results.
- Application: The system is already being implemented for
the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was particularly effective in terms of
dissuading such activities in 2006.
- Example: In Germany in 2005, a referee was found to have
fixed matches that he was betting on and was sentenced for these
criminal activities in December 2006. A number of other cases of
match-fixing came to light in Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic and
most recently in other European leagues. The early warning system
will help in the fight against match-fixing.
The new rule regarding players' agents
- Concept: The ruling on players' agents implemented in
2000 needed to be adapted to the way football is currently
evolving. The new features include licences for players' agents
being renewable as opposed to having lifetime validity, with the
aim of making sure that agents are up to date with the rulings that
are in force. Disciplinary measures against agents with dishonest
intentions have also been significantly strengthened, and players
will also have to pay their agents themselves in order to increase
the transparency of the various transactions. In concrete terms,
agents will receive payment exclusively from the client who engaged
- Objective: While FIFA cannot have complete control over
agents' activities, since players can choose close relatives or
lawyers as their agents, the governing body needs to be stricter to
avoid the rules being flouted and to reinforce agents'
obligations, as was requested by the European Union.
- Application: The new ruling was implemented on 1 January
- Example: A player, assisted by his agent, signs a contract
with a club offering him an annual salary of one million euros.
After two seasons, the agent tells the player that another club is
ready to pay him two million. The player breaks his contract to
sign for the new club. The original club appeals to the industrial
tribunal, which suspends the player for breaking his contract,
while the Committee for the Status of Players suspends and punishes
Protecting the promotion and relegation system for
- Concept: Results on the pitch decide whether a club goes
up or down a level in every championship around the world except in
the United States and Australia, where there are "closed"
leagues. Recently it has been possible to achieve promotion
artificially by buying or moving a club. FIFA wishes to make sure
that this cannot happen again.
- Objective: To protect the traditional promotion and
relegation system for clubs based purely on sporting criteria -
which is the very essence of football.
- Application: The decision was taken at the FIFA Executive
Committee meeting on 15 December in Tokyo. The article will now be
submitted to the Congress next May for approval and implementation
as a "new article" within the rules governing the
application of the Statutes.
- Example: In Spain, the president of fourth division club
Granada bought second-flight Murcia then moved the club near to
Granada, allowing Granada 74 to move up artificially into the
Implementing an electoral code for national
- Concept: National associations are the basis of FIFA, and
it is important that those who represent them should be elected in
a fully transparent manner, without governmental interference in
the country and according to the rules which apply to all
elections. A standard electoral code was therefore necessary.
- Objective: To try to ensure that those who take office at
each association are elected with full impartiality and to limit
any irregularities during elections. Nevertheless, a number of
countries who are already in the habit of holding democratic
elections will not have to make any alterations to their systems,
provided that they respect the main standards required for
- Application: The electoral code was approved by the
Executive Committee in October 2007 and has already been available
since 1 January 2008. It is now the responsibility of each
association to implement it at all forthcoming elections.
- Example: In recent years, FIFA has had to intervene in
elections being held by federations in such countries as
Azerbaijan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Iran, Oman, Peru,
Tajikistan, Togo, Turkmenistan and Yemen, after interference from
governmental institutions in the various countries became
Creating tribunals to resolve disputes in each
- Concept: The Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC), which was
set up in Zurich in 2001, operates on the basis of parity between
players and clubs and has enabled a number of disputes to be
settled between those two parties. The success of the body has been
such that FIFA has decided to set up similar chambers within every
national association and signed an agreement with FIFpro to this
effect in 2006.
- Objective: To remove some of the burden from the FIFA
Dispute Resolution Chamber and to enable all players and clubs from
all associations to be represented and defended in the event of
conflict, which is not necessarily the case at the moment.
- Application: In January 2008, the first DRCs were set up
in 12 pilot countries, with the concept set to be extended to all
- Implementation: In January 2008, 15 'pilot'
countries were selected to implement the first National Resolution
chambers before the principle is extended to all of the members
- Example: Some 900 cases were submitted to the FIFA Dispute
Resolution Chamber in 2007 and, while it is difficult to give an
accurate estimate, the national chambers should be in a position to
take on the numerous conflicts between clubs and players over
International club licensing system
- Concept: The idea is to guarantee the integrity of
competitions, which can be undermined by dramatic shifts in the
amount of capital of unclear origins available to individual
- Objective: To better get to know club owners and
shareholders, so as to be in a position to control the financial
instabilities that can affect clubs adversely.
- Application: As UEFA have enjoyed a positive experience in
this area, FIFA wishes to implement the system of licensing at the
global level, in collaboration with national associations and
confederations, and starting with Asia in the first half of
- Example: In 2004, a businessman invested huge sums into a
South American club and reinforced the playing staff in spectacular
fashion. The money invested was of suspect origins and the
investment quickly stopped. Three years later, the club was
relegated to the division below.
Standard agreement on collaboration
- Concept: Football can only develop through healthy
collaboration and mutual respect between national associations and
the public bodies charged with a responsibility towards sport. FIFA
intends to formalise these relations.
- Objective: To provide member associations with a standard
agreement defining each party's rights and responsibilities
based on mutual respect for respective areas of competence.
- Application: The document already exists, so it is left to
the national associations to provide the governmental bodies in
their country with a copy if the need exists.
- Example: In one African country, the appointment of a
national coach lasted several months and ultimately failed to take
place, the national team's budget being very unclear as a
result of complex relations between the national association and
the Minister for Sport.