FIFA committee backs prevention of domestic matches being taken abroad

FIFA deal a huge blow to Chelsea as they confirm new rules which will cut number of loans allowed of players aged 22 or over to just SIX (while the Blues currently have FOURTEEN at other clubs!)

  • The FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee held a meeting in Zurich on Thursday
  • They backed FIFA council plans to prevent domestic matches moving abroad
  • LaLiga have been desperately trying to hold a regular season game in the US
  •  They will also cut the number of loans allowed of players aged 22 or over to six 
  • It would be a blow for Chelsea who have 14 players aged over 22 out on loan

A FIFA committee has proposed major changes to football’s loan system and the possibility of playing domestic matches abroad in a blow to LaLiga’s plans to stage a game in the US.

FIFA announced on Thursday that its football stakeholders committee had endorsed new regulations which would place limits on the number of international loans permitted of players aged 22 and over. 

They backed ‘a limit of eight international loans in and out as of the 2020/2021 season, going down to six in and out by the 2022/2023 season, with a maximum of three loans in and three loans out between the same clubs.’  

A FIFA committee has proposed major changes to football’s loan system, in a bid to limit them 

It will have ramifications for Europe’s leading clubs who, like Chelsea, loan several players out

This could have widespread ramifications on Europe’s elite clubs who send large numbers of players out on loan each transfer window.

Chelsea, who have been criticised in the past for the number of stars they cast aside each season, have 28 players temporarily at other clubs this season. 

Fourteen of those players are aged over 22, including Danny Drinkwater, Victor Moses and Tiemoue Bakayoko, could be affected by the ruling. 

The new regulations are intended to ‘ensure that (loans) have a valid sporting purpose for youth development’.

A period of three years would be set for member national associations to implement loan system rules in line with the principles established at international level. 

Serie A club Atalanta currently have 55 players out on-loan with 37 aged 22 or over.  

Tiemoue Bakayoko (L) is one of 14 players over 22 to be loaned out by the Blues this season

The decision to oppose domestic matches abroad comes as a bitter blow to LaLiga. 

The Spanish top tier has long held ambitions of playing one regular season game in the US in a bid to raise the profile of the league and take it to new markets. 

Miami has been touted as a possible destination but LaLiga’s plans have been met with concern and it is now in doubt after Thursday’s meeting in Zurich.

In a statement, the committee said: ‘The committee endorsed the principle set out by the FIFA Council that official domestic matches should take place on the territory of the member association concerned.

‘Regulations on this matter will be submitted to the FIFA Council.’

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has been a vocal critic of the plan and blocked LaLiga’s first attempt to stage a game in Miami between Barcelona and Girona.

La Liga has tried and failed to stage an overseas game at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium twice 


Victor Moses (29) – Inter Milan

Danny Drinkwater (29) – Aston Villa

Davide Zappacosta (27) – AS Roma

Tiemoue Bakayoko (25) – Monaco

Kenedy (24) – Getafe

Lucas Piazon (26) – Rio Ave

Izzy Brown (23) – Luton Town

Jamal Blackman (26) – Bristol Rovers

Jake Clarke-Salter (22) – Birmingham 

Matt Miazga (24) – Reading

Baba Rahman (25) – RCD Mallorca 

Charly Musonda (23) – Vitesse

Nathan (23) – Atletico Mineiro

Mario Pasalic (25) – Atalanta 

The division was also left frustrated last year when a commercial court in Madrid denied permission to stage a game between Atletico and Villarreal at the Hard Rock Stadium. 

The league’s organising body filed a complaint against the RFEF last year over the latter’s refusal to authorise playing regular season matches outside Spain, claiming the RFEF did not have the authority to block the move. 

La Liga and the RFEF have been at loggerheads since the league signed a 15-year deal with US entertainment company Relevent in 2018, which included a commitment to play one regular season match in North America per year. 

The FIFA committee also proposed the introduction of a one per cent levy on all transfer fees to support a fund to compensate clubs who develop players through their youth academies.

A consultation will begin on how training costs should be calculated before the proposal is submitted to the FIFA Council, with a view to the system coming into force in 2022.

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