FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What happens if a player participates without being cleared by U.S. Soccer or FIFA?
A: If a player is caught participating without proper clearance, U.S. Soccer and FIFA have the ability to impose fines on the Federation, Member Organization, League, as well as the Club.
Q: Why won’t U.S. Soccer respond to requests for status updates?
A: U.S. Soccer is unable to respond to status updates as this takes time away from being able to clear players. If there has not been an update sent by U.S. Soccer, that simply means there is not yet one to share. Once there is an update available, we notify all relevant parties.
Q: The player previously received confirmation of international clearance from U.S. Soccer, is anything needed to register in a subsequent season or for a subsequent club?
A: International clearance is valid for subsequent seasons and subsequent clubs unless or until the player registers with a team outside the United States.
Q: The player previously played for a high school or college team, was international clearance obtained at that time?
A: High school and college soccer are not affiliated with U.S. Soccer, but are instead organized under governing bodies related specifically to high school and collegiate sports. FIFA’s Regulations require international clearance and U.S. Soccer is a Member Association of FIFA.
Q: I am attempting to register to play soccer outside of the United States, but my foreign club says that I need documentation of a release from U.S. Soccer. Whom can I contact?
A: FIFA requires that international clearance go through its Member Associations. Please have your new club work with their federation in order for the federation to contact U.S. Soccer to request the player’s clearance. The new federation is entirely responsible for satisfying the registration and international clearance requirements for both FIFA and their federation. There is nothing that we can do to assist until we receive a direct request from the player’s new federation. Accordingly, please direct any questions to the new federation.
Q: I have a question regarding international clearance and FIFA’s requirements. Whom can I contact?
A: Please contact the Member Organization with whom your club is registering.
Q: The player has United States citizenship, why is international clearance required?
A: FIFA requires international clearance regardless of the player’s citizenship.
Q: The player is registering as an amateur for a youth soccer team, why is international clearance required?
A: FIFA requires international clearance based on where the player was born or previously registered, regardless of the player’s status as either an amateur or professional.
Q: The player has never played for a foreign national team or professional team, does that mean that the player is a first registrant who has never registered to play elsewhere?
A: Registering to play elsewhere refers to registration for a club team outside the United States. If the player has played in a match with a club team at any level outside of the United States (including youth, adult, amateur, professional, etc.) then the player has registered for the team. Please note that trials and friendly matches likely do not count as registrations. Additionally, international clearance does not apply to national teams; this process only applies to club soccer.
Q: If a club does not otherwise have a professional affiliation, but does have teams in pro affiliated leagues, do we need to enforce ITC requirements for all registered players from that club
A: Yes, the player must apply for the appropriate clearance based on their current situation. FIFA views pro affiliation in a board term to include but not limited to – clubs participating in pro affiliated leagues, joint fundraising efforts with pro clubs, use of pro club facilities etc. Per the FIFA guidelines ALL players, both nationals and foreign born, regardless of club’s pro or non-pro affiliation are required to register with the home association in this instance, U.S. Soccer. Foreign born players are also required to comply with the FIFA International Transfer Standards for Minors (ages 10-17) as outlined in the FIFA RTSP Article 19 and 19bis.
Q: What if some of the documents required for the Minors Process are not available?
A: FIFA generally requires ALL documents listed on the applicable page of U.S. Soccer’s website. Effort has been made to highlight common alternative documents, where available.
Q: Sometimes our club is given free tickets/discounts to go to our local professional team’s games, is that a professional link as defined by both FIFA and U.S. Soccer?
A: If the ONLY link to a professional club is receiving a discount or tickets to cheer on the local professional team, that is NOT categorized as having a legal, financial or de facto link to a professional club.