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UK’s independent regulator plans could breach FIFA rules

FIFA is set to act after the United Kingdom confirmed plans for an independent football regulator, reports the Times.

Recommendations from a fan-led review of football governance were published last week.

The White Paper detailed plans which would see a government-appointed body run a licensing scheme for clubs and oversee checks on owners and directors.

FIFA, via its legal team, is set to study the proposals to determine whether they breach their rules.

Article 15 states that national associations must be independent and operate without any form of political interference.

Football’s world governing body has always suspended national associations for government interference.

National teams have been banned from participating in qualifications for tournaments as a result.

However, the UK does not have immediate plans to set up an independent regulator.

FIFA will not be able to do anything until that happens, but it is keeping tabs on the situation. The regulator is likely to be set up in 2025.

The UK insists the regulator would be independent of the government.

However, FIFA will not hesitate to act if it believes the FA’s role becomes limited, excluded or disturbed.

The governing body would only approve if the regulator’s decision-making does not affect the FA’s autonomy.

The regulator wants clubs to obtain an annual licence to play in any of the top five leagues in English football.

It has to be satisfied that a club have money in place for a new season before a license can be issued.

It would also have statutory powers to sanction defaulting clubs. However, owners and directors will likely face the music anytime sanctions are issued.

The plan is to give the majority of the power to the fans and not the owners. Unscrupulous owners would also be prevented from buying clubs.

Despite the huge advantages that would come with having a regulator in place, FIFA does not want the government involved.

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