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International transfers involving minors—which means players under the age of 18—are not permitted, subject to limited exceptions set out in Article 19 of the

Regulations.^ Breach of these rules led to a high-profile prohibition on transfer activity by FC Barcelona during 2015, a sanction upheld on appeal to the CAS.73

This concern to protect minors readily fits with statements made periodically at EU level. The Nice Declaration includes ‘concern about commercial transactions targeting minors in sport, including those from third countries, inasmuch as they do not comply with existing labour legislation or endanger the health and welfare of young sportsmen and -women’/4 The Commission’s White Paper on Sport of 2007 also expresses anxiety about the exploitation of young players, in particular sexual abuse and harassment/5 Its principal concern is recruitment of children from third countries where it detects exploitation falling short of trafficking in human beings, but nevertheless ‘unacceptable given the fundamental values recognised by the EU and its Member States [and] ... also contrary to the values of sport’/6

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