TMS refresher for Africa

At a FIFA Course discussing the Transfer Matching System (TMS) in South Africa
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Some of Africa’s football administrators are meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, this week to get better understanding of the implementation of the Transfer Matching System (TMS), which was introduced towards the end of last year to federations and clubs by FIFA. The four-day course has been divided into two sections for English and French speaking countries. The latter were the first group earlier in the week, while the former had their last day on Thursday.

This seminar follows initial training courses held for all football associations between 2008 and 2010. Going forward, FIFA will continue to hold educational workshops for its stakeholders on a regular basis, catering to users of TMS in respective national football associations. Most of participants have been active in the system for one year or more, but the purpose of this workshop was to introduce new compliance activities and procedures, to revisit some of the main functionalities of the system and to allow participants to share their experiences with each other.

“One of our main objectives with these workshops is to help our association TMS managers to better understand their obligations in the transfer market. We spend time with them reviewing requirements with respect to the protection of minor players, as well as rules on registration periods or engaging players out of contract. We are now looking to reinforce the knowledge and also to talk about what has changed since TMS became part of the FIFA Regulations on 1 October, 2010,” said Head of Integrity & Compliance at FIFA TMS, Isabelle Solal, who has been one of the course facilitators together with Zora Born, a Client Services Coordinator at FIFA TMS.

This has been a wonderful experience for us, and also an opportunity to learn new ways of working with the system.

“This is also a wonderful opportunity for us, from FIFA TMS, to spend time with our users and improve our understanding of the particular challenges they might face. We also get some great ideas from them on how we could enhance TMS functionalities and processes in the future,” Solal added.

In October last year, the use of TMS became mandatory for all international transfers of professional players. The online system makes international transfers quicker, smoother and, most importantly, more transparent. With TMS, the two clubs involved in a transfer have to enter the same information in the system, otherwise the transfer will be blocked and the member association cannot issue the International Transfer Certificate (ITC). According to the system, a number of factors must be submitted before a transfer can be successful. When it comes to young and minor players, TMS also plays a vital role in that it helps keep track of individual player histories. The system can be used to ensure that proper compensation payments can be calculated for clubs that have trained young players but have then seen them leave for other clubs.

The seminar was divided into two sessions, two days for French-speaking participants and another two days for English-speaking countries. Sidio Jose Mugaza, from Mozambique is amongst those who have been attending the English-speaking course. “What we have realised after these two days is that we need more of these courses,” Mugaza said. “We need to keep up to date and also develop knowledge of the system. The last two days have been refreshing for me and the rest of the guys. It has opened our eyes and exposed us to application of the new compliance. This course has also enabled us to share ideas.”

Ghana representative, Francis Adu Essah, heaped praise on the two-day event. “This has been a wonderful experience for us, and also an opportunity to learn new ways of working with the system. We have learned a lot about some of the important additions from FIFA and I guess to some of us, this has also enabled us to ask some crucial questions we had,” he said.

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