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Loughborough University develops online course for all FIFA football agents to represent minors

All FIFA football agents will have to pass a dedicated online course on working with minors before they are allowed to represent players aged 18 or younger. The course will be offered by Loughborough University, in cooperation with FIFA.

The course, outlined in the new FIFA Football Agent Regulations (FFAR), will be mandatory for all agents globally to take from 1st October 2023 if they are to comply with Article 13.2 of the FFAR.

The course aims to enable agents to understand the regulations around the representation and international transfer of minors, practical aspects of working with minors, and to help them develop child-centred agent practices.

Designed and led by Dr Serhat Yilmaz, a Lecturer in Sports Law at School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS), the course is to be made available online, through the FIFA Agent Platform.

The team that developed the course included Dr Carolynne Mason, and Dr Daniel Rhind of SSEHS, Dr James Esson of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Professor Chris Harwood of Nottingham Trent University, and Richard Allen, Loughborough’s former Director of Football.

Dr Yilmaz said: “The representation of minors in football is complex. There are three core intertwined aspects that underpin this complexity.

“Firstly, football’s regulatory frameworks governing the representation and international transfer of minors are strict and comprehensive. Secondly, young talent development and career progression is not linear and straightforward but rather complex involving different pathways and trajectories.

“Finally, minors are children as well as players, hence their children’s rights need to be respected and realised. It is necessary that agents understand these core aspects to navigate the complexity in practice when working with minors.

“Therefore, this complexity is central to the course and those core aspects are its key learning pillars aiming to enable agents to achieve improved regulatory compliance, better strategic decision-making, and a child-centred approach respecting rights.

“This is the way the good agent practice is conceptualised within the course which we want football agents to develop in real life when representing minors.”

He added: “The course is researched-informed and combines the expertise of our multidisciplinary team.

“It has been a real privileged for to work with such a distinguished group of experts and FIFA on this exciting and important project which I believe will have a positive impact in the agent practice in football.”

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 23/112

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2023 QS World University Rankings – the seventh year running – and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2023 and 11th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.
Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.