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Can FIFA blank T&T starlet Levi Garcia’s move to Europe?

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:

Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) defender Kori Cupid (right) tries to keep up with Shiva Boys attacker Levi Garcia. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) defender Kori Cupid (right) tries to keep up with Shiva Boys attacker Levi Garcia.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

(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.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) prepares to create the opening goal of the 2014 Under-20 Caribbean Cup final against Haiti at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. Looking on are Haiti defenders Stephane Lambese (centre) and Jean Jean-Baptiste. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) prepares to create the opening goal of the 2014 Under-20 Caribbean Cup final against Haiti at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
Looking on are Haiti defenders Stephane Lambese (centre) and Jean Jean-Baptiste.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

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.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (centre) steams past Cuba players Yendri Torres (right) and Roberto Peraza during the Under-20 Caribbean Cup in Port of Spain, Trinidad. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (centre) steams past Cuba players Yendri Torres (right) and Roberto Peraza during the Under-20 Caribbean Cup in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

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.

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56 comments

  1. There is no question. If you are not from the EU/EEA block your parents have to be moving to the country for reasons not linked to football.

  2. But the point of the trial in this case is to put the player in an academy. And this where the question lies.

  3. Article 19 of FIFA Regulations for the Protection of Minors
    1. International transfers of players are only permitted if the player
    is over the age of 18. The Regulations set strict conditions for the international transfer of minors, i.e. players under the age of 18, in order to provide a stable environment for the training and education of these players. The abuse to which minors have been exposed in the past must be prevented and all associations must help to make sure that this rule is
    effectively complied with.
    2 The principle states that international transfers of minors is permitted only under three exceptions one of which is:
    Exception 1: the player’s parents move to the country of the new club
    for reasons not linked to football. Associations are only entitled to
    register minors who have transferred with their parents if the family’s
    move was not due to the transfer of the minor to a football club. The
    term “parents” has to be understood in a strict way. The fact that the
    player may live with a close relative in the country of the new club is
    not sufficient to justify the application of this exception. However, nowhere does this speak to minors going on trials so I don’t know if that is another issue.

  4. Boy go out and make that money and take care of ur family

  5. Steuuuuppppssss Daz cuz all dey care about is dere finances

  6. 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.

  7. Thats where da contract comes in @ Carol James cuz most bpl players come in very young

  8. I hope the situation works out for both Levi and Central FC. I would hate to see Central FC bullied by the foreign agent.

  9. Saw this youth man play … He has a great future ahead of him !!

  10. yes carol more celebrations and less funerals

  11. He too young to go over on his own so his mom I assume wud be dere for d ride so she wud ensure of his education. his agent wud be charged with dat to some extent to

  12. Tru dat but wat level can ah footballer reach down here national team n den wat fight down n den is d end of ur career

  13. Lasana I believe they can receive a transfer fee but the buying club will have to put him in an academy so he can receive the requisite educational training along with his football. If it is the Netherlands it would be perfect for him.

  14. Whatever the decision let us focus on his long term welfare and ensure his ongoing education and adequate healthcare. Remembering young Akeem Adams.

  15. Whatever your opinion about his registration with Central, it seems unlikely that he can get to move to Europe legally until he is 18.
    And there are many clubs who have players in the SSFL, those players are legally registered with the Pro League clubs still. It is the club’s business whether it allows players to take part or penalises them. That has nothing to do with the registration.
    San Juan Jabloteh allows Trimmingham and Brent Sam to play for their schools, for instance.

  16. I’ve been on that road before, but no club didn’t own me . he’s very young so work permit isn’t a big issue for now

  17. In my opinion whilst he is playing in the SSFL Central FC cannot claim to hold his registration

  18. Yes he needs a transfer but can Central FC properly claim to be made a party to the transfer?

  19. Any player who leaves one country to play in another country Roger Ekow Watts needs international clearance from his home football association. And he cannot get it.
    He cannot just show up with a Trinidad and Tobago passport and be registered. That is not how it works.
    All the talk about how he was registered is irrelevant.

  20. rules of SSFL expressly state that a player may not be registered to play in any other league and play in the SSFL at the same time, so technically his registration cannot be claimed by Central FC while he is playing in the SSFL

  21. he will only require a transfer if he is properly registered with Central FC, if he is not properly registered with Central FC he does not require a transfer

  22. He needs an international transfer because he is in Trinidad and wants to play in another country, Roger Ekow Watts. It has nothing to do with what league he is coming from or if he is a free agent. It has to do solely with changing countries.

  23. Your premise may be wrong. It may not in fact qualify as an “international transfer from Central FC, because the boy is currently playing in the SSFL Not the TT Pro League

  24. It’s pretty hard when you in a position like that.

  25. Dwight Yorke was 18 years old. That was within FIFA guidelines. So there is no comparison there.

  26. Dwight York was under 20 when he went to play for Aston Villa and represent T&T senior national Team at a very young age so I don’t think age per say have too much but the maturity if the player is all

  27. Yes they are kids, but we live in a third world country.Not many opportunities arrive for us especially to get paid for our hobby, I think he’s of good age now.They can have a family member living with him.

  28. For every Messi, there are hundreds of kids who are chewed up and spit out by the system which cares nothing for the children involved. The rules were put in place to try to protect them so I don’t understand comments like Emerson’s.

    These are children and we should not lose sight of that. They are not capable of making life choices on their own.

  29. When a young player from the Caribbean get a chance to play in Europe, it’s hard to tell him he can’t go, for us in the Caribbean it’s one in a million so his club have a lot to think about.

  30. I know you know this topic well Kendall Tull

  31. Let him go and make a life for himself. think about the player’s future

  32. Scotty Ranking

    Rules are rules and they are usually made for the best of intentions. And if there are some who break them, it does not mean we should encourage others to break them too simply for that reason. Mr Liburd, I would like to hear the agent’s response on this. Only then can we say with any confidence what will/should be happening. For all we know, Mr. Garcia’s circumstances may well involve one of the conditions that were outlined in the FIFA rules: one or both his parents may be Dutch nationals, one or both may have been planning to migrate to The Netherlands for employment outside football, Levi himself may have dual citizenship with a European nation, etc. There aren’t enough solid facts here as yet. Also, this is not about a carte blanche denial of an opportunity for a poor Caribbean boy …

  33. no local club can only claim development rights

  34. Unless they want to gamble. But I will try to get the agent’s side as well.

  35. Humphry Nijman is the FIFA agent behind the move. To be fair to him, I will try to get a response from him or his local assistant soon.

  36. It’s all good though. FIFA doesn’t do nearly enough to enforce this regulation which is why agents think they can operate with impunity. Barcelona got tagged but the complicit agents are free to continue.

  37. Hmmmm – not seeing my name here Lasana. 🙂

  38. Indeed. I will have to get a response from the agents on this soon.

  39. The relevant question is therefore not “Can FIFA block…” but “Will FIFA block…”

  40. Well, in a perfect world, that would be the end of that – at least for another couple of years. But the law is not what the book says but what you can get away with so…