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Aug 23, 2022   |  3:55PM AET

Football Australia adopts new FIFA and domestic loan provisions for professional players

Football Australia adopts new FIFA and domestic loan provisions for professional players

Football Australia today confirmed that they have adopted the recently implemented FIFA loan provisions and specific domestic loan provisions for professional players in Australia.

At international level, FIFA has recently implemented a series of new loan provisions, including a limit on the total number of international loans, as outlined below:

  • Eight players loaned out and eight players loaned in at any given time during a season from 1 July 2022 – 30 June 2023
  • Seven players loaned out and seven players loaned in from 1 July 2023 – 30 June 2024
  • Six players loaned out and six players loaned in from 1 July 2024 and beyond

Additionally, a maximum of three players may be loaned out to the same club and a maximum of three players may be loaned in from the same club.

Member Associations are required to adopt these international provisions and include regulations on a domestic loan system that are aligned with the FIFA provisions.  

These provisions are designed to uphold the principles of ensuring integrity of competitions, developing young players, and maximising competitive match minute opportunities for players. There is a transition period permitted over the next two years for the implementation of the international and domestic loan limits.

These changes work hand in hand with Football Australia’s football structural reform, particularly, the aligned Domestic Match Calendar, and modern and progressive Domestic Transfer System, where a positive step was taken earlier this year to remove the cap previously placed on domestic transfer fees for contracted players and our continued quest to improve player development.

Following consultations with stakeholders, Football Australia has also updated its domestic loan provisions in compliance with the FIFA regulations and principles but with specificities included for the Australian landscape.

Men’s domestic loan limits mirror the FIFA international loan limits, with A-League clubs being permitted two intra-league loans out and two intra-league loans in as part of the total domestic limits (i.e. only two players loaned in and two players loaned out between A-League clubs at any one time). A maximum of three players can be loaned out to the same club and a maximum of three players can be loaned in from the same club, consistent with the international provisions.

Women’s domestic loan limits have been set at 12 players loaned out and 12 players loaned in until 30 June 2023, 10 loaned out and 10 loaned in until 30 June 2024, and eight loaned out and eight loaned in from 1 July 2024. Additionally, a maximum of six players can be loaned out to the same club and six players can be loaned in from the same club until 30 June 2024, with this maximum decreasing to four loaned out to the same club and four loaned in from to the same club from 1 July 2024.

For both international and domestic loans, the loan of a player is exempt from the total loan limits if the professional is a club-trained player with the parent club, as defined in the National Registration, Status and Transfer Regulations (NRSTRs),and the loan occurs before the end of the season in which the player turns 21. 

Football Australia Chief Football Officer Ernie Merrick applauded this latest wave of reform to the domestic transfer system. 

“We are focused on transforming the domestic football landscape by aligning our domestic regulations with global best practice and to ensure we are addressing our current player development challenges,” Merrick said.

“These updates to the domestic loan provisions complement our ongoing reforms to the domestic transfer system which promote longer term professional playing contracts and will provide more opportunities for players, particularly younger players, to gain quality match minutes in instances where these opportunities are not available at their contacting club in the short term.  

“The longer-term impacts of these core football decisions are all crucial elements to the continued football development outcomes in Australia,” Merrick concluded.

Football Australia has updated the NRSTRs to incorporate the international and domestic loan provisions, for both Men’s and Women’s competitions.