FIFPRO Ball 2500

Youth Protection and Development

Football should be a safe and supportive environment for young players

Children have their own set of internationally recognised rights, which absolutely should be applied to any minor or youth players to ensure adequate protection. The growth and globalisation of football has opened up many opportunities for young players to train with clubs at an early age. However, children are naturally vulnerable in such a high-pressure, competitive atmosphere and face specific risks and challenges in this environment.

What you should know

The men’s professional academy system has developed into a potential working environment

Youths train at a high-performance level and occasionally compete for first team positions. This creates a very competitive atmosphere that demands full dedication from all participants, despite the statistics that very few of them will go on to have professional careers.

The universal protection of minor players requires a versatile approach

This system should of course feature a strict adherence to the law, but also incorporating moral obligation and global children’s rights which will not also protect minors, but also benefit them.

Young players should not be products for potential profit

Implementing and enforcing children’s rights, as well as offering accessible systems of support and protection for young players, is a fundamental responsibility of the entire football industry.