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  • Should players aged between 16 and 18 be able to transfer between two associations within the same country?

    • Public Status: Under Review Need More Examples: No

    I've been managing in Gibraltar and was curious why for example an English club would be able to transfer a 16 year old player from Scotland where I would have to wait until their 18th birthday.

    I am aware that players under-18 are (generally) not allowed to transfer internationally, except for within the European Union, where the limit is 16.

    During my searching I found this media release from FIFA - that it had duplicated this EU exemption to allow the 16-18 transfers between the four home nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales)

    (See section: Transfer of minors - https://www.fifa.com/about-fifa/organisation/fifa-council/media-releases/fifa-council-passes-landmark-reforms-for-female-players-and-coaches-agrees-furth)

    This is repeated across several other articles I found and I assume is the basis for the current implementation in football manager - that players must be over 18 to transfer between different countries, with the only exceptions being the EU and the 4 Home Nations - where it is 16.


    However it seemed a bit odd this courtesy was afforded to the home nations but not Gibraltar, or any of the  other FIFA members that have a similar situation (though I assumed the difference here could be in terms of freedom of movement). I then started trying to find this beyond a media release and within the actual FIFA rules themselves and wasn't able to find any mention of an exemption for the home nations. That's when I did discover this amendment which is much broader interpretation that this applies to any "two associations within the same country".


    New exception for the international transfer of minors

    A new exception to the general prohibition of the international transfer of players under the age of 18 has been made to address the very specific situation of the transfer of a player aged between 16 and 18 taking place between two associations within the same country.

    A transfer in such circumstance will only be permitted if certain minimum obligations are met. These are identical to those that apply to the transfer of a minor aged between 16 and 18 within the territory of the European Union or European Economic Area.

    Source: Amendment 1c - https://digitalhub.fifa.com/m/10abb49ec09c6744/original/pchzzmjnv5po1vaw8mar-pdf.pdf


    I guess it all depends on the interpretation of "same country" here. Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territories so is sort of independent sort of part of the UK. 

    If we are using FIFA's own definition when it comes to eligibility through residency (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_eligibility_rules#Nations_that_share_a_common_nationality) then player based in the associations should be able to transfer between one another between 16-18?


    It very likely someone at SI Games is far more informed than me about this situation and is able to clarify that the current setup is the correct one but from my interpretation is that under-18 transfers need expanding to allow transfers between associations that share the same nationality.


    As a quick search - I have just found two examples of under-18 players transferring to England from outside the 4 home nations - in both cases the players transferred from Spain, had no ties to England but did have British passports - in FM currently these transfers would go through on their 18th birthdays - even if they had transferred from Spain to a club in Gibraltar.

    Evan Busto - Rotherham https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/evan-busto/profil/spieler/929772

    Liam Jessop - Fleetwood https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/liam-jessop/profil/spieler/934941


    Happy to provide in game examples of British and even Gibraltarians players ,aged 16 or 17, and based aboard who can't transfer to a club in Gibraltar until turning 18


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    • SI Staff

    Thank you for raising this, I'll flag it to the relevant team and we can review this ahead of future versions. :) 

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