`Super Campeones´ and the dream of being a Football Player…

Who does not remember that sad moment of the series “Super campeones”, when Roberto Sedinho did not bring to Brazil to Oliver Atom to turn him into the best football player in the world. In fiction, Oliver, stayed with his mother in Japan, then, he reunited with his idol, Roberto and finally became the best player in the world…

Alassane Diakité, is that child, now adult, the Oliver Atom of Bamako, a football player soul, who one day, an unscrupulous trafficker, one of those, who play to be agents of young promises, promised him the dream of reaching Europe and to turn him into a professional football player. Diakité unlike Oliver, he traveled very young, but to end up abandoned on the streets. Today he plays in a pitch of a fifth division, a modest of football in Madrid, the C.D Canillas.

A humanitarian disaster, that has been denounced in the European Parliament by the representative of the NGO Culture FootSolidaire and former Cameroonian activist Jean-Claude Mbvoumin. It is also the plot of the film Diamantes negros, directed by Miguel Alcantud, whereby Diakité participates.

Therefore, and in the light of numerous cases of harm and helplessness in children who changed country and could not practice this sport in a federated team, the International Federation of Football Association FIFA, modified the rules on international transfers of minors in world football.

The FIFA General Secretariat sent to all its associations the ‘Minor Player Application Guide’:

The international move for reasons unrelated to football, of both parents, only one of them, if they have custody, or of the legal guardian in case of death or withdrawal of custody of the parents.

If the player is between 16 and 18 years old and moves within the territory of the European Union or has European nationality; or if the minor player and the club are less than 50 kilometers from the common border between the two.

Other exceptions affect the minor player who registers for the first time and has lived at least five years continuously in the country where he intends to enroll and the minor who is an exchange student abroad.

If the child is a refugee for humanitarian reasons, he may enroll in a federated team from another country, accompanied by their parents or without their parents. These rules, according to FIFA, have been insufficient, so FIFA has begun a process that will inevitably end with the long-awaited amendment of Article 19 of the Regulation on the Status and Transfer of Players (RETJ).

The regulation also includes exceptions given by the CAS Case Law, in particular, reference is made to two cases:

The minor player who has moved to another country without his parents due to humanitarian reasons and could not foresee the return to his country of origin because his life and freedom were threatened because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinions (eg refugee player without company);

The academic or school education of the player was clearly the main reason for the international transfer of the child without their parents and the maximum duration of the registration of the player with the relevant club did not exceed the term of one year, with the condition of the player’s immediate return less than his home after the completion of the educational program, unless he turned 18 in that period (eg, exchange student player).

Numerous international clubs were sanctioned or are being investigated like Chelsea FC by transfer of underage players. Cases were those of Atlético de Madrid and FC Barcelona, which were sanctioned with not being able to sign for 2 and 1 transfer periods respectively. As well as Real Madrid, among whom were immersed the children of their coach, Zinedine Zidane, could reduce 9 cases serious to only one and his appeal was partially upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport – TAS; so he was only banned from signing up in the 2017 winter market.

The FIFA rules, try to avoid in this way that the minors become a merchandise, to play with their illusions and to turn them into the showcase of world-wide football and after somehow, they do not interest the football clubs and these are in a situation of total abandonment.

Well Done FIFA!

Nuria Monjas y Julio Prieto
Del Canto Chambers S.L.

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