New rules for loaned players

Over Gianni Infantino’s FIFA presidential mandate the international football association has engaged in thorough legal reform hoping to adapt to the new market necessities. One of the newly entered into force reforms introduces a new set of rules regarding the loan of players. FIFA set out as objectives for this new reform to keep on developing young players, promoting competitive balance and preventing the hoarding of players.

Firstly, a limit to the loaning in and loaning out of players is established. Clubs will only be allowed to loan in six players and loan out six players. Nonetheless, the application of this rules will be progressive, given that, as a transitory period, during this season the limit will be set on eight players, and for the next season seven. By June 2024 this rule will be definite. Concerning the loans between same clubs, three players can be loaned out and three players can be loaned in from that same club. Chelsea FC has recently been on the spotlight for having simultaneously loaned out 21 players over the last season. Also, Real Madrid has announced the reopening of its team C as another youth team. It was closed in 2015 and given the fact that over the last season 25 players were loaned out of the club this decision could help the club comply with the new rules. On the positive side for these clubs FIFA has exempted players aged 21 or younger and club-trained players from complying with all the new limits, so in most cases, players could remain loaned for youth development purposes.

Secondly, for a loan contract to be valid it must be set on a written agreement which defines the terms of the loan, the financial conditions agreed by the parties and the duration of the loan. Regarding this last requirement the new FIFA rules establish a minimum duration of the interval between two registration periods and a maximum period of one year.

Thirdly, subloaning is also limited in these new set of rules. FIFA now prohibits the subloaning of a player who is already loaned to a third party.

These are part of the new developments FIFA is putting in place to regulate the transfer market with the hope of making it more fair, transparent and in favor of sport.

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