Friday July 10, 2020 By Alexander Vantyghem, Niels Verborgh, Jens Westerwoudt
On July 1, 2020, the Belgian Football Association published a new edition of its national regulations on working with intermediaries (the Belgian regulations). The Belgian Regulation does not limit itself to implementing the regulations on working with intermediaries, but go (much) further than the current version of these regulations. In fact, alongside the licensing system already in force, the Belgian federation has now set up its own “clearing house”, an institution intended to clear certain payments to football intermediaries, set up in the light of the recent scandals and criminal investigations in the transactions of football intermediaries in Belgium. While the clearinghouse currently only concerns payments from intermediaries (not transfer fees or solidarity payments, etc.), given FIFA’s ambition to introduce a more comprehensive international clearinghouse to increase transparency in football, the Belgian project can be seen as a test for future FIFA reform plans.
This Q&A gives an overview of some of the notable aspects of the new Belgian regulation and the functioning of the clearing house.
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Alexander is a sports lawyer at Atfield. He advises national and international clients on all aspects of Belgian and international sports law, and is particularly experienced in proceedings before FIFA decision-making bodies and the Lausanne Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Niels advises a wide range of Belgian and international clients on all aspects of sports law, including employment-related disputes, disciplinary proceedings and regulatory matters.
Jens Westerwoudt is a Belgian student at KU Leuven, where he is currently completing his Masters in Law. In 2020, he completed an internship at ATFIELD, where he gained first-hand experience in various aspects of sports law.