European Soccer Teams Fail to Comply With FIFA Compensation Rule

European soccer clubs are failing to pay as much as they should to compensate other teams for training players, according to a report.

As little as 1.5 percent of $5.1 billion in transfer fees the last two seasons was paid out in so-called solidarity payments, according to the report commissioned by the European Club Association, or ECA.

Soccer ruling body FIFA requires buying clubs to pay 5 percent of transfer fees to the teams that trained players between the ages of 12 and 23. There was a shortfall of $199 million in the last two seasons, according to the report.

“This has highlighted the issue and we have to work out what to do,” Arsenal Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis, an ECA executive board member, said in an interview in Barcelona. “We need to take a closer look.”

Clubs in South America and Africa often fail to chase payments they weren’t aware they were owed or which they didn’t have the resources to pursue, according to Raffaele Poli, a researcher at the International Center for Sports Studies in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

Buying teams also regularly ignore the payments until the case goes to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, which can take “two or three years,” Poli said. The Nyon, Switzerland-based ECA represents 214 European teams.

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