Europe news

FIFA faces challenge to transfer window

September 24, 2013
By ESPN staff

An English footballer is considering taking FIFA to court to contest the restraint on player movement within Europe outside transfer windows.

Global football
AssociatedFIFA could face a legal challenge to transfer windows.

Joe Yoffe, 26, will be without a club from October, when his contract with Icelandic side UMF Selfoss expires.

Under the current legislation, he cannot join another club in Europe until the transfer window reopens in January.

"A couple of lawyers have already said they'd like to take the case," Yoffe told the BBC.

"I don't think it's FIFA's idea to obstruct any player. They have the rules in place for what they see as perfect sense, but there is a grey area. It is quite messy."

Manchester-born Yoffe started his professional career at Stockport County, then in the Championship, before embarking on a nomadic career that has seen him play in the United States, Canada, Spain, Republic of Ireland, Australia and Iceland.

If he presses ahead with legal action, he could spark a sea change in the transfer market rivalling that brought about when the Bosman ruling was introduced in 1995.

"It is something I feel strongly about," Yoffe, who is not alone in calling for a change to the transfer structure in Europe, said.

"Some [players] I know are signing shorter deals which means their contract expires before the window closes. It protects them and they don't have to go four months without a club. It's not just for me. I want to help others in the same situation.

"A player's career is so short anyway that, when you come to the end of a contract, you'd like to be in the shop window to progress forward as soon as possible after that.

"Having to wait for several months is denying players a right to impress, a right to move forward and a right to earn a living."

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