Issa Hayatou FairPlay4Kids

Download FAIRPLAY4KIDS letter here:

25 November, 2015

Issa Hayatou, Acting President

Fédération Internationale de Football Association

FIFA-Strasse 20
P.O. Box 8044

Zurich, Switzerland


Dear Mr. Hayatou,

I, respectfully, contact you and FIFA to address a serious concern regarding the physical and mental health of thousands of youth footballers throughout the world. 

As a parent of a child directly affected by FIFA Article 19 – Chapter VI (Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players), I understand firsthand the implications and impact of this rule.  My child, Marianno, was prohibited from playing in official matches at his football base-level club in Barcelona for nearly 30 days.   

As you can imagine, it is tough explaining to a child barely eight years of age, the complexity of a rule that was created to protect a very few number of children exploited for “footballing reasons”.  In my family’s case, we simply decided that we wanted to move to Barcelona because of the quality of life in the city.  If we would have chosen to move to Portland, Maine or Miami, Florida, we would have enrolled our child in a football academy just the same. 

FIFA Article 19 casted a wide net and has hooked thousands of innocent children around the world.  Our organization in less than a month has received numerous emails regarding children who have been banned from participating in organized (NON-PROFESSIONAL) football matches.  Some of these banned players are as young as six years old.  This is of serious concern to our organization. 

Our organization is requesting that FIFA investigate the impact of the Article 19 rule on youth players and make immediate amendments to the rule. Clearly, the rule may be in violation of children’s rights.  Undoubtedly, the rule is discriminatory in nature.  The majority of players affected by the Article 19 rule are immigrants. 

Without question, we understand that FIFA’s concern is to protect exploited children, as stated earlier in this letter.  However, we are, respectfully, requesting FIFA to review Article 19 rule and make the necessary changes to the rule in an effort to prevent unnecessary anguish to non-professional youth players.  This will guarantee that 1000s of children around the world can play once again.

FIFA promotes the game of football globally and this is not a positive way to promote the sport.  We await your response.

Very truly yours,

Mark A. Lugo

Co-Founder of FairPlay4Kids

FairPlay4Kids Letter FIFA NO ADD1




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