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In the shocker of all shockers, FIFA has decided to finally institute something that makes sense: a new online monitoring system for international soccer transfers. “This is a historic moment for football,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Wednesday. Blatter is spot on. The system will presumably rid the transfer market of money laundering, corruption, and those last minute transfer dramas that are simply ridiculous. Let’s give a little golf clap to FIFA on this one.

Under the system, the clubs involved in the transfer will have to submit identical proofs of payment, identification of agents, and papers to ensure a player’s new employer. 3,500 clubs from 150 countries around the world will be required to adhere to the system or face the wrath of FIFA, which claims that the penalties for teams breaking the rules will be harsh (anything from large fines to transfer bans).

The system hopes to make the transfer market more transparent as well as have transfers become quicker and smoother in process. FIFA also claims the system will help hinder the international movement of underage players, especially in South American countries. With a login password, FIFA can inspect deals and search for instances of a team manipulating the system. However, “In an online system, you cannot cheat,” FIFA legal chief Marco Villiger said. For the most part, a completely valid statement. The online transfer management tool will also be eventually applied to national transfers so all player movements around the world can be watched.

The system has actually been in use  since 2007, however, as of September 24th, teams have been required to use the system. An example of the system of use, as noted by FIFA, is the transfer of Rafael van Der Vaart from Real Madrid to Tottenham. With the system, the transfer process only took 90 minutes after negotiations began. With the transfer sagas that have gone on in the past that drag on for months, I couldn’t be more excited about many of these rumors being squashed simply by looking at the online system’s data. FIFA says they won’t specifically be releasing the data of the online transfer system, however, this does not teams from eliminating rumors by citing the system.

So, this is my rare “hats off to you, FIFA” moment. Enjoy it, for I see FIFA doing something very stupid in the near future just to make up for this moment of brief clarity.

Written by Chris Behrens, writer for soccerprose.com


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