• FIFA faces lawsuit over ban on transfer of minors

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    ZURICH: A complaint has been filed to a court in the Swiss city of Zurich against a FIFA-imposed ban on the transfer of under-age players, lawyers representing the complainant said on Thursday.

    The Zurich firm Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte launched the lawsuit at a court in the city on Wednesday on behalf of a 17-year-old African player and his parents.

    They are “contesting the legality of FIFA rules banning the international transfer of under-age players,” according to a statement sent to AFP from the firm.

    The player’s name and nationality were not revealed.

    The statement added that, because of FIFA’s rules, the player, “who has been called up numerous times to represent the national teams of his country, has not been able to join a professional club in a European Union member state and has therefore lost a possibly unique opportunity, for him and his family, to progress professionally and socially.

    “Supposed to protect this young player, FIFA’s rules have in reality had the effect of discriminating against players coming from third-party countries.”

    Contacted for comment by AFP, a FIFA spokesperson replied: “At the time of writing, FIFA has not been officially notified about the claim you mention. Therefore please understand we cannot comment.”

    The ruling in question is FIFA’s Article 19, breaches of which have led to Spanish giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid all being handed transfer bans recently.

    AFP

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