Sixteen-year-old Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 attacker and Shiva Boys Hindu School football star, Levi Garcia, is set to leave for Europe next week in a controversial move engineered by Dutch agent Humphry Nijman.
Here is what FIFA says about the movement of players under the age of 18:
(FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players)
Article 19: Protection of minors
1. International transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18.
2. The following three exceptions to this rule apply:
a) The player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for reasons not linked to football.
b) The transfer takes place within the territory of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) and the player is aged between 16 and 18. In this case, the new club must fulfil the following minimum obligations:
i. It shall provide the player with an adequate football education and/or training in line with the highest national standards.
ii. It shall guarantee the player an academic and/or school and/or vocational education and/or training, in addition to his football education and/or training, which will allow the player to pursue a career other than football should he cease playing professional football.
iii. It shall make all necessary arrangements to ensure that the player is looked after in the best possible way (optimum living standards with a host family or in club accommodation, appointment of a mentor at the club, etc.).
iv. It shall, on registration of such a player, provide the relevant association with proof that it is complying with the aforementioned obligations.
VI. INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS INVOLVING MINORS 21
c) The player lives no further than 50km from a national border and the club with which the player wishes to be registered in the neighbouring association is also within 50km of that border. The maximum distance between the player’s domicile and the club’s headquarters shall be 100km.
In such cases, the player must continue to live at home and the two associations concerned must give their explicit consent.
3. The conditions of this article shall also apply to any player who has never previously been registered with a club and is not a national of the country in wish he wishes to register for the first time.
4. (…) Any violations of this provision will be sanctioned by the Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the FIFA Disciplinary Code. In addition to the association that failed to apply to the sub-committee, sanctions may also be imposed on the former association for issuing an International Transfer Certificate without the approval of the sub-committee, as well as on the clubs that reached an agreement for the transfer of a minor.
5. The procedures for applying to the sub-committee for a first registration and an international transfer of a minor are contained in Annexe 2 of these regulations.
Editor’s Note: Levi Garcia’s agent, Humphry Nijman, and local handler, Dion Sosa, have declined the opportunity to comment on this FIFA law for now.
At present, Spain and Europe football giant, Barcelona, is serving a 16-month ban after being found guilty by FIFA for the improper acquisition of 10 players under the age of 18.
Click HERE for more information on the tug-of-war for Levi Garcia between Pro League team Central FC and his new European agent.