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England FA looking to self-regulate agents with FIFA reform to lift restrictions

Nov 17, 2013, 12:49 PM EDT

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With FIFA in the final stages of scrapping their current licensing system for player agents, England is up in arms.

The Association of Football Agents (AFA) have held a meeting with FA members present to discuss how to maintain their own regulations now that

The Mirror is reporting that the AFA has contacted all 92 clubs in the English system that unlicensed agents could snatch players without the proper guidelines, something that could jeopardize both the system and the players’ well-being.

“Tapping up is bad enough now, with unlicensed individuals trying to muscle in on the business,” said AFA chairman Mel Stein. “That’s very hard to police as it is, but it will become the wild-west if FIFA’s proposal goes ahead. It will be the California Gold Rush all over again. Everybody will go in for the quick buck and the quick kill, without any thought for the wellbeing and welfare of players and clubs.”

The FA website has put up a notice informing those involved that FIFA will not be handing out an agent licensing test beginning in Spring of 2014.  Previously the qualifying exams, run by the FA, were notoriously difficult, with a 95% required to pass.

“It’s totally irresponsible of FIFA to allow an individual with no qualifications or experience to represent a player in transfer or contract negotiations – just as it would be irresponsible to allow somebody with no qualifications or experience to represent someone in court,” said Stein.

“We have written to every club from Manchester United to Accrington Stanley. We told them who we are, this is what might be happening, these are the possible consequences and what can happen moving forwards. What we are trying to do, by negotiation and discussion with the FA and all the other main stakeholders, is to get some kind of an agreement whereby there are regulations and qualifications.”

According to the Mirror report, the AFA have also contacted a lawyer who was previously involved in the famous Jean-Marc Bosman case which marked the beginning of free transfers at the expiry of contracts.

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