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A ruling in a German court has ordered the new FIFA Football Agent Regulations (FFAR) to not be implemented into German football until the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled on the matter.

The new FIFA agent regulations and entry exam are due to be introduced at the beginning of October.

The judge in the District Court of Dortmund issued an injunction against the FFAR being implemented by the German Football Association (DFB) as they contain an anti-competitive element, which was enough to allow restrictions on competition.

A Mainz District Court in Germany referred a preliminary ruling on the FFAR to the ECJ for consideration in April. Given the length of time it will take for the ECJ to deliver the verdict, the judge in Dortmund ruled that there was enough urgency to grant the injunction.

The injunction in Germany is in contrast to a ruling in the Netherlands where, earlier this month, two groups of football agents were ordered to pay €1,775 (£1,548; $1,937) after losing a case in against FIFA’s new rules for intermediaries.

They had argued that the rules are unlawful because FIFA is not authorised to regulate their profession as the agents are not members of FIFA and there is no public law basis for FIFA’s regulation.

FIFA have confirmed they are “reviewing the ruling carefully”.

“First, it is worth noting that the ruling is inconsistent with previous judicial decisions in other European countries and even inconsistent with previous decisions in Germany itself (including from appeal courts),” a statement said.

“FIFA reserves its right to appeal the decision to a higher court in due course. Second, the FIFA Football Agent Regulations (FFAR) are currently being assessed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

“A ruling is expected by the end of July from CAS, including with regard to the compatibility of the FFAR with substantive EU law.

“Third, and simply for the avoidance of doubt, the new FIFA agents rules are the result of a long and inclusive consultation process, involving players, clubs, leagues, national football associations and even agents as well.

“FIFA considers the new rules to be a reasonable and proportionate regulatory measure to help resolve systemic failures in the player transfer system, which have been universally recognised by all football stakeholders and which have also been welcomed by political authorities in Europe.”

FIFA’s new regulations have been widely criticised by agents, including Rafaela Pimenta, one of the world’s leading intermediaries, who is part of an ongoing legal battle with the governing body.

In April, almost half of the candidates that took FIFA’s first football agents exam failed, with only 52 per cent passing.

Of the 3,800 that sat the exam, only 1,962 were successful and will be able to receive FIFA’s football agent license. That license will allow them to continue operating as a representative for transfers or contract renewals involving players, staff members or clubs.

There is another exam scheduled for September, which intermediates will need to pass if they want to continue operation in their role from October 1.

(Photo: Getty Images)



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