Release Date: Dec 18, 2010
Governing Body Endorsement requirements for Tier 2 and Tier 5 migrant workers wishing to obtain employment with sponsors affiliated to the Irish Football Association.
CRITERIA FOR SPONSORS (CLUBS)
The IFA will provide an endorsement to prospective sponsors if they fulfil the following criteria:
- The sponsor is either a member of:
* The Irish FA Premiership or
* The Irish FA Championship or
* Derry City FC (club situated in Northern Ireland but participate in the Eircom League of Ireland)
The duration of such endorsement shall be for a period of 4 years.
CRITERIA FOR MIGRANTS (PLAYERS)
The IFA will provide an endorsement to prospective sponsors if the player fulfils the following criteria:
- A player must have played for his country in at least 75% of its competitive 'A' team matches he was available for selection, during the 2 years preceding the date of application and
- The player's country must be at or above 70th place in the official FIFA World Rankings when averaged over the 2 years preceding the date of application.
The definition of a competitive 'A' team international match is a:
- World Cup Finals game
- World Cup Qualifying group game
- Football Association confederation tournament game, for example:
o The FIFA Confederations Cup;
o The UEFA European Championships and Qualifiers;
o The African Cup of Nations and Qualifiers;
o The Asia Nations Cup and Qualifiers;
o The CONCACAF Gold Cup;
o The CONCACAF The Copa Caribe;
o The CONMEBOL Copa America;
o The OFC Nations Cup and
o The UNCAF Nations Cup
Prior to submitting an application, clubs should provide written confirmation of the player's international appearance record over the preceding two years highlighting the competitive 'A' matches. This should be obtained from the player's home association. The Irish Football Association will be unable to make a decision on the application until written evidence is provided. If any evidence submitted needs verifying, the Irish Football Association will liaise with other parties and verify all information through all available sources, if necessary.
Exclusion from selection for international matches due to injury or suspension will be taken into consideration when applying the criteria. Clubs should submit supporting evidence in such cases stipulating the games the player has missed.
It should be noted that where a player is listed as on the substitutes' bench, he will not be considered as injured when reaching a decision on a governing body endorsement application.
There are currently 207 international teams listed in the official FIFA world rankings. Those countries which have regularly achieved a 70th placing or higher over a period of two years are regarded as nations who have competed regularly at a highly competitive international level and have players of the highest standard who have contributed consistently to the achievement of that world ranking. The FIFA rankings are available on the FIFA website (www.fifa.com) and an aggregate ranking list will be calculated by the IFA upon request from a sponsor.
Length of issue
Governing body endorsements will be issued as follows:
Tier 2 (initial applications):
For the period of the player's contract, up to a maximum of three years, whichever is the shorter period.
For the period of the player's contract, up to a maximum of 12 months, whichever is the shorter period.
- Where the permit approval or certificate of sponsorship is about to expire and the player meets the criteria outlined above for initial applications
If a club wishes to retain the services of a player, they should submit an extension application before the work permit or certificate of sponsorship expires. If the governing body endorsement requirements are satisfied, an endorsement will be issued for the period of a player's contract, up to a maximum of two years.
- Where the permit approval or certificate of sponsorship is about to expire and the player does not meet the criteria for initial applications
Where an application does not meet the criteria, then a club may request that it be considered by a panel.
Changes during the period of approval
Change of employment
A club wishing to sign a player from another UK club must submit a separate application to the Irish Football Association. If the criteria are satisfied, a governing body endorsement will be issued for the period of a player's contract, up to a maximum of three years.
If a player is moving to another club on loan (Temporary Transfer) his club must notify the UK Border Agency of the fact that he has temporarily moved location. If the loan becomes permanent the new club will need to make a fresh application on behalf of the player.
Contract changes or re-negotiation during the period of approval
- Where a club wishes to re-negotiate a player's contract to improve his conditions and/or salary or length of contract part way through their approval period. The club should put in a change of employment application (or extension application if the contract period changes).
If the criteria are met, the application will be processed.
If the criteria are not met:
- Where the player's initial contract was for 12 months or longer and the club have requested a panel: The Irish Football Association will consult with other relevant football bodies by email. They will ask whether the application needs to be considered at a panel. If the football bodies recommend unanimously that they are satisfied that the changes do not affect the application, then the case can be processed without a panel. If any of the football bodies have concerns with a particular application, such application may be referred to the IFA Appeals procedure for consideration.
- Where a player's initial contract was for less than 12 months and the club have requested a panel: the panel will be arranged as normal.
Clubs do not need to include details of a player's salary in the application.
Governing body endorsements will not be issued to clubs for the purpose of having players to trial them. Clubs may wish to approach the Immigration Enquiry Bureau on 0870 606 7766 for further information should they wish to consider taking a non-EEA player on trial.
International Transfer Windows
Governing body endorsements may be applied for by clubs at any time and will be considered against the criteria as above. Clubs should take into consideration the fact that a governing body endorsement, once issued, must be used within 6 months otherwise it becomes invalid.
Consultation and Review
This criteria has been developed and shall be reviewed via ongoing consultation with the other UK Football Associations including The Football Association, the Scottish Football Association and the Football Association of Wales, and player and manager representative associations.
Proposed IFA Appeals Procedure
In the event of a request for an endorsement for a migrant worker not meeting the proposed criteria, the following procedure will apply:
The sponsor, on behalf of the migrant worker, will apply for a review by the Association's appeals body. The appeals body shall consist of 3 independent experts and shall be selected from a panel which shall consist of up to 8 members as determined annually by the IFA Executive Board.
The Executive Board will ensure that no member of the panel shall have a conflict of interest or be connected in any way with the sponsor and/or migrant worker on a case by case basis.
The sponsor shall be required to submit an appeal fee of £250 which shall be returnable in the event that the appeal is successful.
The panel shall be convened within 10 days of the Association receiving notification of the appeal.
The sponsor shall be required to submit all supporting evidence that the migrant worker shall make a significant contribution to football at the highest level in Northern Ireland.
The appeals body shall make a recommendation to the IFA Executive Board who shall determine if an endorsement for the migrant worker shall be approved under appeal.
The appeals body shall make it's recommendation to the IFA Executive Board based on the sponsor's supporting evidence submitted in advance and on the case presented by the sponsor at the time of the appeal hearing.