The Football League have written to FIFA in an attempt to get a recent rule change overturned. In June 2017, FIFA banned the Emergency Loan system that the Football League had been using, as they regarded it an abuse of the transfer window, with clubs able to sign players on a temporary basis for between 28 and 93 days. The term 'emergency' was never tested in practice - clubs could take loan players regardless of whether they had injuries or squad shortages, and FIFA had written to the League on a number of occasions warning them that they would be curtailing the loophole.
That change came in for the 2017-18 season, with clubs only able to sign players on half-season or full-season deals, starting and ending during the two transfer window periods in July and January. This has continued unchanged for the 2018-19 season, but according to Sky Sports, the League are petitioning FIFA for a partial reversal of the rule. They have written to Victor Montagliani, a FIFA vice-president who is also chair of the football stakeholders committee asking for a rethink after a number of clubs voiced concerns.
The League has asked FIFA to allow a system that is based on principles that allow emergency loans to be used "for the purpose of youth development as opposed to commercial exploitation". As such, the proposal is that the new rule would only allow players aged Under-23 to be loaned out between the transfer windows, and only to players that are eligible for the national team in their playing country.
The exact definition of nationality could become contentious once the detail is considered. Players such as Bevis Mugabi and Rhys Browne are UK-born, but have decided to play for the country of their parents or grandparents. Mansfield Town's Otis Khan remains eligible to play for both Pakistan and England. In such circumstances, Bevis Mugabi would have met eligibility rules until March 2018, when he chose to accept Uganda's call-up, at which point he would presumably fail that test.
Given that international players with dual nationality can switch countries if they have played at junior levels, such as Under-19 or Under-21, a large proportion of younger players may qualify in principle for two or three countries. There may also be objections from clubs like Newport County, Shrewsbury Town, Bristol Rovers or Carlisle United where their geographical presence may see them feed off adjacent countries for their loan targets.
It's highly unlikely that FIFA would sanction any rule change before the summer of 2019, meaning that the current half-season and full-season rules will continue to run throughout the 2018-19 season.
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