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55. All Players must be registered with the Association to play for a Club using the systems and procedures set by the Association from time to time. Only such registered Players identified with a FIFA ID (which is assigned to each Player when first registered) are eligible to participate in Official Matches and (subject to Rule 70) Open Friendly Matches.

56. A Player may only be registered to a Club for the purposes of playing in Official Matches and Open Friendly Matches. As an exception to the foregoing, a Player may have to be registered to a Club for mere technical reasons to secure transparency in consecutive individual transactions (as per Annexe 3 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, which are part of the FIFA Rules).

57. By the act of participating in the registration process, the Player agrees to abide by these Rules, the FIFA Rules and the UEFA Rules. Any Player not registered with the Association to play for a Club who appears for a Club in any Official Match or (subject to Rule 70) Open Friendly Match shall be in breach of these Rules. Any Player registered with the Association to play for a Club who appears for another Club in any Official Match or (subject to Rule 70) Open Friendly Match shall be in breach of these Rules.

58. Without prejudice to any measure required to rectify the sporting consequences of any participation by a Player in a competition in breach of the Rules in this Section H and/or any applicable Regulations, the Association may also impose sanctions on the Player and/or the Club.

59. A Player may only be registered with one (1) Club at a time. 

60. Players may be registered with a maximum of three (3) Clubs during one (1) Season but during that Season the Player shall only be eligible to play Official Matches for two (2) Clubs. 

61. Subject as set out below, Players may only be registered with the Association during one of the Professional Registration Periods. The exceptions are:-

61.1 a Professional Player whose contract has expired prior to the end of a Professional Registration Period may, at the discretion of the Association, be registered outside the Professional Registration Periods, due consideration being given by the Association to the sporting integrity of the competitions under the jurisdiction of the Association;

61.2  a Professional Player whose contract has been terminated for just cause may, at the discretion of the Association, be registered outside the Professional Registration Periods, due consideration being given by the Association to the sporting integrity of the competitions under the jurisdiction of the Association; 

61.3  an Amateur Player shall be entitled to be re-registered as a Professional Player with his/her existing Club outside the Professional Registration Periods if it is the Player’s first registration as a Professional Player in a Season and the registration as an Amateur Player with that Club occurred during one of the Professional Registration Periods; 

61.4 Amateur Players, playing only at Grassroots Level and/or in other Amateur Competitions, may be registered at any time during the Amateur Registration Period; 

61.5 a female Professional Player may be registered outside of a Professional Registration Period to temporarily replace a female Professional Player that has taken Maternity Leave PROVIDED THAT the period of the contract of the temporary replacement female Professional Player shall, unless otherwise approved by the Association, be from the date of registration until the day prior to the start of the first Professional Registration Period after the return of the female Professional Player that has taken Maternity Leave; 

61.6 a female Professional Player may be registered outside of a Professional Registration Period upon completion of her Maternity Leave subject to her contractual status; PROVIDED THAT in relation to Rules 61.5 and 61.6, priority shall be given to ensuring that the female Professional Player that has returned from Maternity Leave is eligible to participate in the competitions under the jurisdiction of the Association and the sporting integrity of the relevant competitions; and 

61.7 as a temporary exception as per FIFA Rules, a Professional Player whose contract has expired or been terminated as a result of COVID-19 has the right to be registered by the Association outside a Professional Registration Period, regardless of the date of expiry or termination.

61(A). Only Amateur Players shall be eligible to participate at Grassroots Level and/or in other Amateur Competitions. Professional Players are excluded. A Player registered with the Association to play for a Club with teams participating in both Professional Competitions and Amateur Competitions shall only be eligible to play for the Club in Professional Competitions during a Season if that Player was first registered with the Association to play for the Club during one of the Professional Registration Periods applicable to that Season.

62. An Amateur Player who is a Junior Player may, upon reaching the age of sixteen (16), be registered with the same Club to play in a Junior League at the same time as being registered during the Professional Registration Period or Amateur Registration Period (as applicable) to play in a non-Junior League for the remainder of the Season in which the Junior Player reaches sixteen (16) PROVIDED THAT if the Junior Player reaches the age of sixteen (16) after the first Professional Registration Period during a Season, then he/she shall only be eligible to play for that Club in a Professional Competition from the start of the second Professional Registration Period during that Season.

63. A Player shall only play in Official Matches for the Club for which he/she is registered to play with the Association.  In addition, subject to Rule 70, a Player shall only play in Open Friendly Matches and Closed Friendly Matches for the Club for which he/she is registered to play with the Association.

64. A Professional Player registered with the Association may not re-register with the Association as an Amateur Player until at least thirty (30) days after the Player’s last match as a Professional Player and no compensation shall be payable to any former Club upon a Professional Player re-registering with the Association as an Amateur Player. However, if within thirty (30) months of having re-registered with the Association as an Amateur Player, the same Player is further re-registered with the Association as a Professional Player, his/her new Club shall pay Training Compensation, if applicable. 

65. Any Professional Player who ends their playing career upon expiry of their contract, and any Amateur Player who ceases to play Association Football, shall remain registered with the Association in the name of the Player’s last Club for a period of thirty (30) months from the day the Player made their last appearance for the Club in an Official Match.

66.  The Association shall use reasonable endeavours to provide the Club with which the Player is registered with secure access, using the systems and procedures set by the Association from time to time, to details of the Player’s registrations with the Association since the calendar year of his/her twelfth (12th) birthday.

67. Any Player who is paid more than the expenses he/she reasonably and properly incurs directly in connection with his/her footballing activity for a Club must (a) be registered with the Association to play for that Club as a Professional Player and (b) have a written contract with that Club setting out all of the agreed terms in a form approved by the Association and the written contract must be signed by both the Player and a duly authorised representative of the Club. The application for registration of a Professional Player must be submitted to the Association together with a copy of ythe relevant contract. In deciding whether to accept or maintain the registration of a Player, the Association shall have discretion to take account of any contractual amendments or additional agreements that have not been duly submitted to the Association.

68. All Players are subject to the FIFA Rule which stipulates that any player who is registered with a club that is affiliated to one (1) national association shall not be eligible to be registered with a club affiliated to a different national association unless an ITC has been issued by the former association and received by the new association. Therefore, a Player formerly of a club affiliated to a national association other than the Association shall not be eligible to register with a club affiliated to the Association, and therefore not eligible to participate in Official Matches and/or Open Friendly Matches for his/her new club, until an ITC has been issued by the former association and received by the Association and the Association has entered and confirmed the Player registration date. In accordance with the FIFA Rule, for a Player the ITC shall be issued via TMS. An ITC is not required for a Player under the age of ten (10) years.

69. Player Loans:-

69.1 a Professional Player may be loaned to another Club on the basis of a written agreement between the Player and the Clubs concerned. Any such loan shall be subject to the same Rules as applied to the transfer of Players, including the provisions on Training Compensation and the “solidarity mechanism” payable under the FIFA Rules;

69.2 subject to the recall provisions in Rule 69.5, the minimum period for such a loan shall be the time between two (2) Professional Registration Periods and, for the avoidance of doubt, any such loan shall count as a registration of the Professional Player for the purposes of Rule 60;

69.3 subject to the recall provisions in Rule 69.5, a Club shall be entitled to have a maximum of twelve (12) Professional Players on loan to it during a Season but not more than six (6) at any one time and loans which become permanent transfers in the same Season shall not count in the Club’s said annual quota for the Season;

69.4 the Club that accepts a Professional Player on such a loan basis shall not be entitled to transfer the Player to another Club without the written authorisation of the Club that released the Player on loan and the written authorisation of the Player concerned; and

69.5 the Club making the loan of a Professional Player may recall the Player and cancel the loan in the following circumstances:-

69.5.1 the loan agreement between the Clubs allows such a recall and cancellation; and

69.5.2  the recall and cancellation occurs during a Professional Registration Period and at least twenty-eight (28) days after the start of the loan upon giving the other Club and the Association (in each case, using the systems and procedures set by the Association from time to time) a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours written notice.

70. Trialist: 

70.1 A Player registered with the Association or any other national association to play for a club may, with the permission of his/her club or with the permission of the Association (and in each case, subject to any condition set by the Association from time to time), play as a Trialist for a different Club in: (a) Open Friendly Matches if those matches are played during the Close Season; and/or (b) any Closed Friendly Match. 

70.2 If a Player is not registered with the Association or any other national association to play for a club, then he/she may (subject to any condition set by the Association from time to time) play as a Trialist for any Club in: (a) Open Friendly Matches if such matches are played during the Close Season; and/or (b) any Closed Friendly Match.

71. Contracts of Professional Players:-

71.1 to protect contractual stability, and subject always to applicable law and any applicable collective bargaining agreement, the contracting parties shall comply with the principles set out in Articles 13 to 17 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (being part of the FIFA Rules) such as respect of contract, terminating with just cause and consequences of termination, and where a contract is terminated by either party, the Club must notify the Association (using the systems and procedures set by the Association from time to time) of any such termination within two (2) Business Days of the notice of termination being giving;

71.2  the contract shall state the minimum length of the contract from its effective date. The maximum length of a contract shall be five (5) years but Players under the age of eighteen (18) years may not enter into a contract for longer than three (3) years. The Association will not register any Player with a contract referring to a longer period;

71.3 if an Intermediary is involved in the negotiation of a contract, he/she shall be named in that contract;

71.4 a Club approached by a Professional Player under contract with another club, or intending to approach or negotiate with such a Player to conclude a contract, must inform the Player’s current club in writing before entering into negotiations with him/her;

71.5 the validity of a Player’s contract may not be made subject to a successful medical examination and/or the grant of a work permit; and

71.6 contractual clauses granting the Club additional time to pay to the Professional Player amounts that have fallen due under the terms of the contract (so-called “grace periods”) shall not be recognised save for grace periods contained in collective bargaining agreements. Contracts in existence on 1st June 2018 shall not be affected by this prohibition;

71.7 the contract must require the Club to pay the Professional Player no less than the national minimum wage or the national living wage (as applicable, as set by HM Government from time to time); and

71.8 female Professional Players shall be entitled to Maternity Leave during the term of their contract, paid at equivalent of two-thirds of their contracted salary PROVIDED THAT where conditions which are more favourable to the Player are stipulated in applicable law or an applicable collective bargaining agreement, the more favourable conditions shall prevail.

71(A) The provisions of Article 18quater (relating to “Special provisions relating to female players”) of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (being part of the FIFA Rules), are incorporated into these Rules with the necessary adjustments. Where conditions which are more favourable to the female Professional Player are stipulated in applicable law or an applicable collective bargaining agreement, the more favourable conditions shall prevail.

72. All payments made to Players (whether as salary, expenses or otherwise) must be made by his/her Club in pounds sterling, from within the UK, and recorded fully in the records of the Club and the Club shall pay all appropriate taxes and national insurance contributions in respect of such payments and keep appropriate records of such taxes and national insurance contributions.

72(A)

(i)  Clubs are required to comply with their financial obligations towards Players and other Clubs as per the terms stipulated in the contract signed with their Professional Players and in the transfer agreements.

(ii)  The provisions of Article 12 bis (relating to “Overdue payables”) of the FIFA  Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (being part of the FIFA Rules), are incorporated into these Rules with the necessary adjustments.

73. The Association will not accept an application for registration of a Player from a Club where a Judicial Body or a National League has imposed an embargo on the Club registering any new Players including, without limitation, any transfer of a Player to the Club. 

74. The Association will cancel a Professional Player’s registration upon receiving evidence (using the systems and procedures set by the Association from time to time), reasonably satisfactory to the Association, that the Player’s contract with his/her Club has expired, terminated or been cancelled by mutual consent.

75. For the protection of Players under the age of eighteen (18), the provisions of Article 19 (relating to the international transfer of minors) and Article 19bis (relating to the registration and reporting of minors at academies) of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (being part of the FIFA Rules), are incorporated into these Rules, with the necessary adjustments. 

76. No Club shall enter into a contract which enables any other party to that contract or any third party (which excludes the Player being transferred) to acquire the ability to influence in employment and transfer-related matters, the Club’s independence, its policies or the performance of its teams.

77. No Club or Player shall enter into an agreement with a third party whereby a third party (which excludes the Player being transferred) is entitled to participate, either in full or in part, in compensation payable in relation to the future transfer of a Player from one club to another, or being assigned any rights in relation to a future transfer or transfer compensation.

78. A Professional Player shall only be free to conclude a contract with another Club if his/her contract with his/her present Club has expired or is due to expire within six (6) months.

79. A Club approached by an Amateur Player, or intending to approach or negotiate with an Amateur Player for him/her to play for the Club during a Playing Season must comply with the following:-

79.1 the Club must (using the systems and procedures set out by the Association from time to time) give three (3) days’ prior notice to the Club for which the Player was last known to have registered before approaching or negotiating with him/her unless the approach occurs during the final three (3) days of a Professional Registration Period or an Amateur Registration Period (as the case may be) applicable to the Club providing the notice, in which case shorter prior notice may be given;

79.2 such negotiations must cease after seven (7) days from the date such notice is served or at the end of the Professional Registration Period or Amateur Registration Period (as the case may be) applicable to the Club, whichever is the sooner;

79.3 the three (3) days’ prior notice required under Rule 79.1 must expire within a Professional Registration Period or an Amateur Registration Period (as the case may be) applicable to the Club providing the notice;

79.4 no Club shall give such a notice for more than two (2) Players of the same other Club at the same time or give a third notice to the same other Club within ten (10) days of a first notice during a Playing Season; and

79.5 no Club shall give more than three (3) notices to the same other Club in respect of the same Player during the same Playing Season and no such notice may be given within twenty-eight (28) days of an earlier notice; and

79.6 no Club shall give no more than six (6) such notices to the same other Club during a Playing Season.

The provisions of this Rule 79 shall not apply to approaches made by or to Amateur Players during the Close Season PROVIDED THAT the Professional Registration Period or Amateur Registration Period (as the case may be) applicable to the Club are open.

79(A) An Amateur Player’s registration with the Association may be cancelled at any time. In such circumstance, the Amateur Player may only re-register to play for a Club during a Professional Registration Period or an Amateur Registration Period (as the case may be) applicable to the relevant Club and, unless re-registering to play for his/her immediately preceding Club and/or re-registering during the Close Season, only after at least fourteen (14) days have elapsed since the date of cancellation.

79(B) The Association shall have absolute discretion to withhold acceptance of an application for registration of a Player transferring from one Club to another unless both the Club with which the Player is currently registered and the proposed new Club have complied with the Association’s procedures current at that time.

80. An Amateur Player’s current Club must give notice in writing to the Association (using the systems and procedures set by the Association from time to time) of any objection to the proposed transfer of the Player’s registration to another Club before expiry of the three (3) day period referred to in Rule 79.1 unless the approach occurs during the final three (3) days of any applicable Professional Registration Period or Amateur Registration Period, in which case any such notice of objection must be given as soon as reasonably practicable before the end of such Professional Registration Period or Amateur Registration Period. Any such objection shall be limited to an alleged breach by the approaching Club of one or more of the provisions set out under Rule 79, in which case the Association shall have absolute discretion to withhold acceptance of the transfer whilst the objection is being investigated. If it is found that the approaching Club has breached Rule 79, the Association shall have absolute discretion to reject the transfer, and the approaching Club may be subject to disciplinary proceedings in accordance with Section E of the Rules. If no such notice of objection is received within such period, the Association will register the transfer upon the written request of the approaching Club (using the systems and procedures set by the Association from time to time).​​​​​​​

81. All Clubs shall comply with the Training Compensation and the “solidarity mechanism” provisions in the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (being part of the FIFA Rules) and the Association’s Domestic Training Compensation Regulations, as applicable.

81(A). No club or Player shall be involved in a Bridge Transfer. It shall be presumed, unless established to the contrary, that if two consecutive transfers, national or international, of the same Player occur within a period of sixteen (16) week, the parties (clubs and Player) involved in such transfers have participated in a Bridge Transfer.

82. Any Club shall, in the case of misconduct by a Professional Player, or breach of the training or disciplinary rules or orders of the Club, have the right to suspend the said Player for a period not exceeding fourteen (14) days or impose a fine not exceeding two (2) weeks wages and any such penalty must commence no later than fourteen (14) days following written notification by the Club to the said Player. The Club must also notify the Association of any such penalty within two (2) Business Days of giving the notice to the said Player. 

83. In a dispute arising out of a conflict between a Club and any of its Professional Players (including, without limitation, termination of the contract by either party), the parties shall refer the dispute to the Association, whose Judicial Bodies alone shall adjudicate exclusively on the dispute in accordance with Section E of these Rules.   

84. A Player shall not enter into a contract with any Club until the end of the Academic Year in which he/she reaches sixteen (16) years of age.

85.  Those Clubs whose senior team competes in the Adran Premier or whose Under 19’s team competes in the Adran Under 19’s North or Adran Under 19’s South shall be permitted to nominate to the Association using the systems and procedures set out by the Association from time to time no more than two (2) of the Club’s registered Players at any one time when they reach the age of fifteen (15) during that Season to play in the Adran Premier, the Adran Under 19’s North, the Adran Under 19’s South and the Adran Trophy, subject in all such cases to compliance by the Club with the safeguarding rules and procedures for such Players as set by the Association from time to time (including, without limitation, the issue of any approval or other consent by the Association under the said rules and procedures).​​​​​​​

85(A) Those Clubs whose senior team competes in the Cymru Premier shall be permitted to nominate to the Association using the systems and procedures set out by the Association from time to time no more than two (2) of the Club’s registered Players at any one time when they reach the age of fifteen (15) during that Season to play in the Cymru Premier, the Cymru Premier Development League North, the Cymru Premier Development League South, and the Cymru Premier League Cup, subject in all such cases to compliance by the Club with the safeguarding rules and procedures for such Players as set by the Association from time to time (including, without limitation, the issue of any approval or other consent by the Association under the said rules and procedures).​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​

86. A Player aged under eighteen (18) shall not enter into a contract with any Club without the consent of his/her parent/guardian who must countersign the contract. 

87. A Junior Player shall have the right to register with any Club to play in any Junior League within the boundary of the Area Association in which they principally reside but, unless such Area Association grants permission, such a Junior Player shall not register with any Club to play in a Junior League outside the boundary of that Area Association.

88. An Area Association shall have the right to allow male and/or female Players in Academic Year twelve (12) (who are no older than 17 throughout the applicable Academic Year) to be treated as Junior Players for the purposes of competitions and matches under its jurisdiction. In addition, the following age groupings shall apply for the playing of Association Football (or a modified small-sided version of the game) by Junior Players: -

88.1 for those Junior Players in Academic Years one (1) to six (6), such age groupings as are set out from time to time by the Association in its Small-Sided Football Regulations; and

88.2 for those Junior Players in Academic Years seven (7) to eleven (11) (or twelve (12), if applicable) an age grouping shall be a minimum of one (1) Academic Year and a maximum of two (2) Academic Years, 

subject to the right of (a) an Area Association to extend the scope and application of the Small-Sided Football Regulations to cover Junior Players in Academic Year seven (7) and/or eight (8) and (b) the right of an Area Association to allow a Junior Player to play in a younger and/or older age grouping than otherwise applicable to his/her age, in each case for the purposes of competitions and matches under its jurisdiction.  An Area Association shall follow at all times such guidance or instruction on the matters covered in this Rule 88 as may be issued by the Association from time to time.  An Area Association shall give the Association prompt written notice of any decisions the Area Association makes pursuant to this Rule 88.

89. The organisation of Association Football (or a modified small-sided version of the game) for Junior Players in Academic Years one (1) to six (6) (and/or seven (7) and eight (8) if the Area Association exercises its right under Rule 88) shall be played in accordance with the Association’s Small-Sided Football Regulations.  Such matches shall be played as friendly (non-competitive) games only except for matches involving predominantly Junior Players in Academic Year seven (7) and/or eight (8) where the games may be competitive.    

90. Any person involved in the organisation, operation or delivery of Association Football (or a modified version of the game) in Wales for Junior Players shall comply with the Association’s Safeguarding/Welfare Policies and Procedures and Regulations. 

91. A league playing at Grassroots Level shall be entitled (but not obliged) to adopt the following provision into its own rule book in order to regulate first team Players playing in the reserve team of the same Club:-

Where (i) a Club which plays in a National League and also has a reserve team playing in a league at Grassroots Level and (ii) the Club’s first team (which plays in a National League) does not have a playing fixture on a given day, then on that given day no more than three (3) Players from the Club’s first team (which played in the Club’s last fixture in a National League) shall be allowed to play in the reserve team league fixture played on that given day.

The above shall be the only provision permitted by the Association to appear in the rules of any organisation under the jurisdiction of the Association (whether as a Member, Associate Member or Subordinate) relating to the regulation of first team Players playing in the reserve team of the same Club in a reserve team league fixture.

First Published

08 September 2020

Last Updated

03 August 2022

Part Of

Rules

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