How to Pass the FIFA Agent Exam: Key Points to Note in The Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players

How to Pass the FIFA Agent Exam: Key Points to Note in The Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players


FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) encompass a comprehensive framework governing player registration, eligibility, contracts, transfer procedures, and dispute resolution. These regulations ensure that players are properly registered with national football associations, adhere to eligibility criteria regarding age, nationality, and amateur or professional status, and have their contracts with clubs meet minimum standards. 

Transfer windows are established to regulate the buying, selling, or loaning of players, while mechanisms such as training compensation and solidarity payments are in place to reward clubs for developing talent. Prohibitions on third-party ownership aim to maintain the integrity of the sport, and dispute resolution mechanisms such as the Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) and the Players‘ Status Committee (PSC) provide avenues for resolving conflicts in accordance with FIFA’s regulations. Overall, these regulations are another way to seek to promote fairness, transparency, and stability in the global football landscape while safeguarding the rights and welfare of players.

In this blog we will delve into the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players to ensure you are confident in approaching what is arguably the bulkiest and most information-heavy section of the study materials and in answering questions that may arise in the exam. It is important to remember that there is a larger proportion of RSTP questions in the exam question pool so it is likely you will face many questions on this section.

The Contents

The contents page of the FIFA regulations on the status and transfer of players provides a comprehensive overview of the various sections and topics covered within the document. Beginning with definitions to ensure clarity and uniform interpretation, the regulations proceed to introductory provisions outlining the scope of the regulations. The section on player status delves into the distinction between amateur and professional players, procedures for reacquiring amateur status, and guidelines for terminating player activity. Following this, the registration of players is detailed, covering processes such as registration periods, the issuance of player passports, and the application process. Notably, provisions for international transfers and loans of professionals are also included. 

The document further addresses contractual stability between professionals and clubs, outlining rules for contract termination, including just causes and consequences. Specific attention is given to regulations concerning third-party influence and ownership of players‘ economic rights, with sections dedicated to prohibiting such influence and ownership. Additionally, special provisions for female players, protection of minors in international transfers, and mechanisms for training compensation and solidarity are detailed. Jurisdictional matters, final provisions, and annexes containing rules for releasing players to association teams, employing coaches, and international player transfers, among others, round out the comprehensive set of regulations. 

Top 7 Points to Note

Please note that the page numbers in brackets are relevant to the Study Materials PDF rather than the RSTP’s corresponding page. 

  1. Bridge Transfers (p222): The regulation in clause 5bis regarding „bridge transfers“ prohibits clubs and players from engaging in such transactions. A bridge transfer is defined as two consecutive transfers of the same player, either within the same country or internationally, occurring within a span of 16 weeks. Unless proven otherwise, it is presumed that such transfers constitute a bridge transfer. The FIFA Disciplinary Committee, following the FIFA Disciplinary Code, is empowered to impose sanctions on any party, including clubs and players, found to be involved in bridge transfers, in accordance with FIFA statutes and regulations.
  2. Registration Periods (p223): Also known as transfer windows, the regulation on registration periods stipulates that players can only be registered during one of two annual periods set by their respective football associations, which may vary for male and female competitions. The first registration period can start as early as the day after the previous season ends and must conclude no later than the first day of the new season, lasting between eight to twelve weeks. The second registration period, occurring mid-season, must be between four to eight weeks long, with the cumulative total not exceeding 16 weeks. All transfers, national or international, must occur within these periods, unless exceptions apply, such as a player unilaterally terminating their contract with just cause or a female player temporarily replacing another due to maternity leave. Associations may exceptionally register players outside these periods, considering sporting integrity, and any contractual requirement for former club consent is voided in certain cases. The priority is given to ensuring the eligibility of female players returning from maternity leave and maintaining the sporting integrity of competitions. Registration is conducted through an electronic system, and these regulations do not apply to amateur competitions, which have their own registration periods determined by the relevant association.
  3. Contracts (pp231-234): The regulations regarding the respect of contracts outlines the conditions under which a contract between a professional player and a club may be terminated. It asserts that termination may only occur upon the contract’s expiration or through mutual agreement. Additionally, it defines just cause for contract termination, permitting it without repercussions if either party engages in abusive conduct aimed at forcing contract alteration or termination. Furthermore, it addresses situations where a player may terminate a contract due to outstanding salaries, specifying conditions and procedures. Sporting just cause for contract termination is outlined, allowing a player who has participated in fewer than ten percent of official matches to terminate a contract without facing sporting sanctions. The regulations prohibit unilateral contract termination during competition periods and outlines consequences for contract termination without just cause, including compensation and potential sporting sanctions for both players and clubs. Moreover, clause 17 imposes sanctions on parties inducing contract breaches to facilitate player transfers, ensuring contractual stability between professionals and clubs.
  4. Third Party Ownership (p237): The regulations concerning third-party influence on clubs and third-party ownership of players‘ economic rights prohibit clubs from entering into contracts that allow third parties to influence their independence, policies, or team performance in employment and transfer-related matters. The FIFA Disciplinary Committee is authorised to impose disciplinary measures on clubs that fail to comply with these obligations. Additionally, the regulations forbid clubs and players from engaging in agreements with third parties that grant them participation in compensation for future player transfers or assign them rights related to transfer compensation. Non-compliance with these regulations may result in disciplinary measures imposed by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on clubs or players.
  5. Protection of Minors (pp242-244): The regulation on the protection of minors in football outlines strict guidelines regarding international transfers of players under the age of 18, with limited exceptions. These exceptions include cases where the player’s parents relocate for non-football-related reasons, transfers within the EU or EEA for players aged 16 to 18, situations involving a player living near a national border, instances of humanitarian protection, and academic exchanges. The regulation applies not only to previously registered players but also to those being registered for the first time. It mandates approval from the Players‘ Status Chamber of the Football Tribunal for international transfers and first registrations of minor players, with additional scrutiny for players under ten years old. Associations may apply for a limited minor exemption (LME) under specific conditions for amateur minor players. 
  6. Training Compensation and Solidarity Mechanism (p249 & pp288-293): The regulation on training compensation stipulates that such compensation must be paid to a player’s training club(s) when the player is registered as a professional for the first time and each time the professional is transferred until the end of the calendar year of the player’s 23rd birthday. This obligation remains whether the transfer occurs during or at the end of the player’s contract. The detailed provisions regarding training compensation are outlined in Annex 4 of the regulations, with the principles not applying to women’s football. Additionally, the solidarity mechanism dictates that if a professional is transferred before the expiry of his contract, any club that contributed to his education and training shall receive a proportion of the compensation paid to his former club, known as a solidarity contribution, with the specifics detailed in Annex 5 of the regulations.
  7. The Annexes (pp259-304: The annexes provide additional details and regulations regarding specific aspects of player management and transfers in football. Annex 01 addresses the release of players to association teams, while Annex 02 outlines rules for the employment of coaches. Annex 03 covers the international transfer of players and the transfer matching system. Annex 04 details training compensation, and Annex 05 discusses the solidarity mechanism. Annex 06 provides rules for the status and transfer of futsal players. Lastly, Annex 07 presents temporary rules designed to address the exceptional situation stemming from the war in Ukraine. These annexes serve to complement and provide further clarity on the main regulations outlined in the document.

Practice Question

Answer at the bottom of the blog.

Which of the following natural and legal persons are not considered to be third parties in transfers? Select one or more:

  1. The player being transferred
  2. The agent of the releasing club
  3. An individual sponsor of the player being transferred
  4. The agent of the engaging club


In conclusion, mastering the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) is crucial for success in the FIFA Agent Exam, given its substantial weight in the question pool. These regulations, designed to ensure fairness, transparency, and stability in global football, cover a wide array of topics, from player registration and eligibility to contract termination and dispute resolution. Key points to note include the prohibition of bridge transfers, the regulation of registration periods, guidelines for contract termination, restrictions on third-party ownership, and protections for minor players. Additionally, mechanisms such as training compensation and the solidarity mechanism play vital roles in rewarding clubs for player development. Understanding the annexes further enhances comprehension of specific aspects of player management and transfers. By grasping these regulations and their nuances, aspiring FIFA agents can navigate the complexities of football governance with confidence and proficiency.

Don’t forget, as well as our free resources available below and new additions weekly until the exam, if you want to take your preparation one step further, our next 8-hour comprehensive online How to Pass the FIFA Agent Exam Course with Dr Erkut Sogut and top sports lawyer, Daniel Geey, is taking place on 20th April 2024 and is open for registration through the link! 

The Sports Agent Academy FREE Resources List

Practice Question Answer

The correct option is answer A. Please refer to page 211 and definition 14; ‘third party’. 

by Dr. Erkut Sogut & Jamie Khan

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