The growing awareness of International Clearance requirements affecting all competitive football at all levels in England has had a significant effect on the volume of applications received by the registrations team to the extent that applications have quadrupled compared with a few years ago. This mirrors the good practice deployed by Clubs, Leagues and County FA's to ensure that procedures are followed and potential problems minimised. Contrary to what is sometimes believed the FA has no interest in collecting unnecessary fines or placing individuals and Clubs in a position where they are found guilty of contravening FIFA Regulations.
The FA are delighted that more Leagues have produced enhanced registration forms and that more Clubs are verifying the status of players with the registrations team before committing pen to paper.
But, inevitably, delays have occurred in processing requests particularly at peak periods.
The FA are conscious of the service levels you expect (and the pressures brought to bear by managers and Club personnel) and will continue to streamline their operational processes accepting that The FA are often in the hands of other national associations.
The FA are often asked to explain why International Clearance exists - particularly at youth level down to the age of 12. Apart from being a long established FIFA requirement in 208 countries it is essential that The FA have the ability to track a player's movement to generate a Player Passport. Additionally, the information is often very helpful when players begin the process of achieving professional status linked to possible Training Compensation payments in future years. The FA regularly liaise with the UK Border Agency regarding employment policies although the FA cannot give immigration advice. The FA also works closely with agencies such as the Police who are constantly dealing with child trafficking through northern Europe in particular where there is evidence of youngsters being procured for 'footballing reasons.'
The updated guidelines attached supersede all previous notes and application forms which should be destroyed. It is hoped that the amended information will assist everyone involved in making applications for International Clearance and understanding what The FA need from you to get things moving.
For further information on International Clearance, please contact The FA at Registrations@TheFA.com