FIFA circulated its latest October 2022 edition of the Regulations on the Status and Transfers of Players (“RSTP”). Among the most notable changes to the regulations is the additions to Article 19, which regulates international transfers involving minors (players under 18 years old) and places specific conditions under which a minor may trial with a club.
FIFA's November 2022 Explanatory Notes provide guidance on the new regulations. Trials are now specifically defined as “a way for a club to assess, over a short period, the skills and character of a player who is not registered with it.” This is important in that a trial itself will not create an employment relationship between the club and the player.
Conditions on trials include the minor's age at the time of the trial, express permission from the triallist's parents, a point of contact, provisions of optimal accommodations, living standards and coverage of expenses. Minors will only be entitled to attend two trials per year.
Trials are a pivotal component of the football ecosystem as well as the recruitment and development of talent. It is hoped that the new regulations will provide greater legal certainty for minors who often travel very far for trials to foreign clubs without any form of guarantees.