Updated / Friday, 4 Dec 2020 21:07
FIFA has confirmed there will a ‘Brexit exemption’ to allow the transfer of players aged 16 and 17 between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but it will not include footballers of that age from the Republic of Ireland.
The FIFA Council acknowledged that the UK is “one state with four separate FIFA member associations” and that minors should able to transfer freely between these associations.
However, they also specified that the exemption will not apply to the Republic of Ireland.
Ninety-one Irish players have moved to English clubs in the last seven transfer windows.
Post-Brexit, players from EU countries will be required to gain a Governing Body Endorsement [GBE], which is similar to the work-permit system that exists already for players from outside the EU.
The GBE will operate a points system based on senior and youth international appearances, club appearances and the quality of the selling club and its league.
Players accumulating the requisite amount of points will earn a GBE automatically, while players just below the threshold may be considered for a GBE by an Exceptions Panel.
The FA told RTÉ Sport that “as guidance, Irish nationals do not need to obtain a GBE due to the Common Travel Area Agreement”.
However, it now looks likely that minors will not be allowed to moved to the UK before they turn 18 after Brexit is finally completed on 1 January 2021.
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