14 November 2022 – After years of delays, FIFA has announced that the FIFA Clearing House (FCH) will launch on 16 November 2022. This is great news for South African football and SAFA clubs..

FIFA President Gianni Infantino spoke at the conclusion of the most recent Fifa Council meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, saying the new Clearing House would help to ensure that smaller clubs receive the full compensation owed to them for developing players that go on to play professionally.

“[The FIFA Clearing House] will change the lives of these small clubs because it’s big, big money and it’s due and we’re very proud to do this,” said Infantino. “This will finally bring some transparency and accountability to the transfer market.”

The problem is that most African Member Associations (MAs) are falling behind in player registration which is the foundation of the FIFA Clearing House. Electronic registration records form each player’s Electronic Player Passport (EPP), used to allocate payments to training clubs when a former player signs his first professional contract or transfers from one club to another, with a fee.

The FCH Regulations state clearly that, “only players registered by a member association with a club and identified with a FIFA ID… shall be considered for the automatic calculation and payment of training rewards.”

This is where SAFA is miles ahead. While nearly all African MAs use the free FIFA Connect Platform to register players, SAFA and its tech partner Inqaku identified the importance of a bespoke platform, tailored to Africa’s unique needs and challenges, early on. MYSAFA now ranks first among CAF countries and 15th internationally in FIFA IDs assigned to players, with over 600K. This puts SAFA clubs at the front of the queue for training rewards claims under the FCH.

FIFA will also now require MAs to include specific rules in their domestic regulations. One of them is article 5 of the RSTP, which states, “with the exception of players participating in friendly matches during a trial, only electronically registered players identified with a FIFA ID are eligible to participate in organised football.”

It’s been said many times since first approved by the FIFA Council in 2018: the FCH will be a game-changer, creating a path for tech-savvy MAs to gain an advantage over rival nations in player development investment. Thanks to SAFA’s leadership, SA clubs are perfectly positioned to profit from these reforms.