Ignorance Rules

July 11, 2013 at 8:17 am 4 comments

Further to our story titled “No Two Ways About It”  which stated that a professional player cannot have ‘dual registration’ as advised by FIFA, who quoted their own regulations another radio station approached Football West, the game’s governing body in Western Australia to ask if the games the player concerned played in would now be void.

The response again showed a lack of understanding of the issue and simply appeared to confirm that the FFA had approved the dual registration.

Not satisfied with this response the presenter of Lets Talk Football, Eamon Duffy asked quite reasonably if this meant that the FFA had gone against FIFA rules.

Keith Wood the General Manager of Competitions and Operations, who is obviously not that up to speed with FIFA’s rules and regulations, responded by saying “I contacted FFA’s Legal Counsel (Regulatory) and they have no knowledge of any such specific instruction from FIFA to national associations, so I’m not sure where these reports that are circulating are originating from, but safe to say that from Football West’s point of view we’re unaware of anybody asking FIFA about dual registration and consequently no knowledge of a response from FIFA.”

This is simply incredible, surely Mr Wood does not mean that the FFA are waiting to be told what to do by FIFA? That is why FIFA produce a massive book of laws and regulations for member confederations so that they do not have to advise them, the onus is on the member nations to read these and make sure that they comply.

It is ludicrous to think that the FFA’s Legal counsel cannot be aware of The Regulations and Status of the Transfer of Players where it states quite clearly in section 5 par. 2  ‘a player may only be registered with one club at a time.’ In the same section of the regulations it also states that this rule applies to all member nations!  As we stated in our original piece, “Article 1 par. 3a) states that the above provisions are binding at national level.”

How can this possibly be misconstrued? How can a legal counsel not understand such a ruling, when simple lay people such as us totally understand the meaning of these rules?

One has to ask if the FFA are not aware of, or fail to grasp the meaning of such a clause, how many other FIFA rules are being broken? Unlike the sport played predominantly in Australia the FFA do not have the power to make up their own rules, they are bound by the international rules as written by FIFA. These are here to protect them as an organisation, as well as players and clubs, they are there for the good of the game.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dan  |  July 11, 2013 at 8:38 am

    While i agree with your points in this article, i believe that some of the confusion surrounding dual registration which you talked about in the previous article involves what constitutes a representative side. As an example a player may play for a representative team, even when registered for a club (look at the upcoming game between some premier league team and an A League all star team – should all those players (who haven’t pulled out for other reasons) not be allowed to play because they are already registered for their A-league club?)
    So the question is what is the NTC? is it a club? is it a representative side?
    I think the problem in Australia is that the set up does not fit the regular FIFA mould but i think the governing body should be allowed some discretionary power. When considering dual registration it was an application process which the FFA could approve if you submitted a reasonable argument as well as evidence from both clubs and state body that they had no objection. it was certainly not an automatic right and there had to be a good reason for it – usually because otherwise the players themselves are adversely affected by rules made up in zurich that have absolutely no grounding in the reality of the situation of semi professional players in a minor australian league (no disrespect to the state league intended).

  • 2. notthefootyshow  |  July 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Dan, you make some very valid points.
    Representative sides are however a completely different situation as they only play ad hoc games and do not play in an organised league.
    The NTC cannot be classed as a representative side as it plays for points in a league and fields a team week in week out of the State League season.

    The system in Australia is flawed. Too many young players are signed by A-League clubs with little or no chance of ever getting a game. They are cheap options to bring a club up to the required percentage of the salary cap that needs to be spent. So this tends to show that the salary cap is detrimental to young players.

    Whereas I agree in part that the Australian set up as you say ‘does not fit the regular FIFA mould’ whose fault is that?

    The FIFA rules were there before the FFA, so they should have moulded the set up to comply, not moan when what they have created does not fit FIFAs longstanding rules.

    The problem is you ‘bend’ one rule such as this and where does it stop?

    Fact there is no such thing as dual registration. FIFA have made that quite clear in my correspondence with them. So there really is no argument, no matter how valid the FFAs reasons are they have created something that is not allowed in International football, if you are a member of FIFA.

  • 3. Stephen  |  July 11, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Dan your response would appear as if you are employed by Football West.

    Rules are rules and the FFA and Football West cannot go against FIFA rules. There is a reason they are in place, and no one should question that. Even though some of what FIFA does is questionable!

    Football West want the NTC to play in a league competition, then they cease to be a representative side, they are an official team in the competition. They play for points don’t they? Their results count aganst other teams don’t they?

    All of the games that he played in should be void. I would suggest if Football West and the FFA refuse to acknowledge this issue people email FIFA.

  • 4. Struth  |  July 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Yes Stephen appears to be either FW employee OR fellow traveler from another Forum –

    notthefootyshow has it right !

    ” The NTC cannot be classed as a representative side as it plays for points in a league and fields a team week in week out of the State League season.”

    Should the NTC, as I believe, Not played for nor taken points from games or the opposition ,and just giving the young ones some competition, Only then could it be construed to be a representative side .


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