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FIFA Eyes Transparency with New Constraints on Soccer Agents

ZURICH — Agents for professional soccer players will see their fees capped under new regulations aimed at bringing transparency to the murky business of player transfers, FIFA said on Friday.

FIFA has been working on the proposal for years and announced that the new rules, which also include an exam and publication of client lists, will begin to take effect Monday.

“The new regulations introduce basic service standards for football agents and their clients, including a mandatory licensing system, the prohibition of multiple representation to avoid conflicts of interest, and the introduction of a cap on agent fees, all with the objective of reinforcing contractual stability, protecting the integrity of the transfer system and achieving greater financial transparency,” FIFA said in a statement.

Agents earned nearly $623 million in commissions last year in a 24% increase over 2021, FIFA said in December.

FIFA hopes to limit the excesses of an industry that allowed the late Mino Raiola to earn 27 million euros ($29 million) from Juventus from the 105 million euro ($111 million) deal that took Paul Pogba to Manchester United in 2016. Raiola was paid an additional sum by the player and his new club. The France midfielder returned to Juventus last July.

Agent commissions on transfers and salaries will be capped at 3% when representing the player and 6% if there’s dual representation of the player and buying club, while agent earnings will be capped at 10% when acting for the selling club.

FIFA said it will publicize agents’ client lists, the expiry dates of their representation, as well as details of all transactions “including the service fee amounts paid to football agents.”

Agents must pass an exam to be licensed. There will be a transition period “ahead of the obligation to only use licensed football agents and the cap on agent fees,” which will happen Oct. 1, FIFA said.

The governing body calls it “a landmark step towards the establishment of a fairer and more transparent football transfer system.”

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