Football agents have lost an appeal to block new FIFA regulations that would cap their transfer commissions and introduce exams to secure a licence after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in Fifa’s favour on Monday.
The Zurich-based Professional Football Agents Association (PROFAA) submitted the appeal to CAS, sport’s highest court, in Switzerland after FIFA introduced a new regulatory framework in January. The new rules will come into force on October 1.
PROFAA’s claims that the regulations violate competition and European Union laws have been “dismissed in their entirety”, CAS said. The agents’ group said it was “extremely disappointed” by the decision.
“PROFAA will carefully examine the ruling before deciding the next steps and will continue to support any and all litigation against these regulations, specifically the introduction of a commission cap,” the group added.
FIFA wants to limit agents to taking a maximum 3% commission for any transfer of more than $200,000 and 5% for deals less than $200,000. There will be a 10% cap on earnings when agents act for the selling club.
The rules also require agents to hold a licence, for which they must pass a new examination by October 1. Agents first took the exam in April, with only 52% of the 3,800 candidates obtaining the required mark to pass.
Other major changes include prohibition of multiple representation to avoid conflicts of interest and payment of agent fees through FIFA’s financial clearing house.
“FIFA welcomes today’s ruling … that fully confirms the legality, validity and proportionality of the FIFA Football Agent Regulations (FFAR),” the governing body said.
“The award confirms FIFA’s position that the FFAR are a reasonable and proportionate regulatory measure that help to resolve systemic failures in the player transfer system.”