All you need to know about the Domestic Transfer Matching System (DTMS), and why we must make it work in Nigeria

By Daily Sports on December 10, 2016

Views: 3,934

Eight years ago, precisely in February 2008, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) introduced the Transfer Matching System (TMS) as a test phase in 18 countries. The success of the test phase prompted FIFA to mandate that from the first day of   October, 2010, just two years after the test phase that the TMS be used for all international football transfers. TMS is simply an online system that makes international transfers quicker, smoother and, most importantly, more transparent. The application and usage of the TMS would however thrust tremendous impact on the international transfer of players. It must be stated that the TMS has been successfully implemented in all FIFA member associations and in over 3,000 clubs. Since the introduction of the Domestic Transfer Matching System (DTMS) in Nigeria by the Nigeria Football Federation, a lot of salient questions on the introduction, application and importance of the System have been raised by all and sundry. Our task in this work is simply to dissect the Domestic Transfer Matching System (DTMS), its applicability in Nigeria and the vitality it brings in our domestic transfers. Like the International Transfer Matching System   (ITMS), the Domestic Transfer Matching System (DTMS) is important in that it increases the transparency of individual transactions and helps tackle issues such as the fight against money   laundering, the protection of minors, the expeditious processing of transfers and the ultimate preservation of integrity in football, transfers and matters connected with it. DTMS is applicable for player transfers between clubs affiliated to the same association (example: a transfer involving a player say “Player A” whose former club was “Kano Pillars” and who is to be transferred to another Club “Enyimba FC”). The DTMS could arguably be said to be the national version of the ITMS, which is used by over Two Hundred and Eleven Member Associations and 6,500 Clubs for cross-border player transfers. The DTMS is built into the TMS platform and works with one single sign-on.

The purpose of the DTMS is to improve transparency, efficiency and good governance between Clubs, the Players and the Federation in Nigeria. For all the good it brings, the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) co-opted the usage of the DTMS into its system in2014 and ever since then, the KNVB and its clubs have been able to manage and monitor their domestic transfer   activity, generate statistics and reports, speed up the transfer process and store required documents online safely. On the question of who uses DTMS, we make bold to say that from teachings and researches conducted, DTMS is established exclusively for Member Associations and their affiliated football clubs in our case the Nigeria Football Federation, the League Management Company and the affiliated professional football clubs in Nigeria. Clubs assign specific employees with the function of accessing its DTMS platform in order to manage their   domestic transfers. DTMS enables users to gain a complete picture of domestic transfers,   communicate more efficiently with each other to speed up the approval process and store official documents easily and safely for easy referral and increased adherence to their own domestic regulations. We opine that considering our local circumstances, the applicability and efficiency of the DTMS in Nigeria would be handed a major lifeline if the process is codified in a statute that could easily be referred to. A lot of details involving a given transfer must be entered in processing applications on the platform of the system. This information include but are not limited to – information on the player, club details, all payments including the amount, timing and bank details, and solidarity payments to previous clubs as the case may be. These details must also be backed up by documentary evidence consisting of uploaded copies of the player’s identification documents, his new employment contract and the transfer contract between his former and future club. The key principles of the DTMS is centralisation, digitalisation,   standardisation and transparency and these principles all point to the glorious attribute   embedded in the system. We argue that introduction of the DTMS in the Nigeria football terrain is a step in the right direction and would preserve the integrity of the beautiful game.

In my earlier work we argued that the game of football can only achieve uniformity, certainty,   equality and integrity on a worldwide scale if a variety of fundamental principles and basic   salient rules are applied to all parties involved. FIFA regulates football in order to protect the rights of players and clubs. The FIFA Regulations aim to safeguard the principle of maintenance of contractual stability between professional football players and clubs which is of fundamental   importance in order to have an efficient transfer system and to maintain a competitive balance. It is also posited here that the coming into force of the DTMS would assist in the preservation of the age-long principle of pacta sunt servanda – that is, sanctity of contracts. I hope this would also put to rest the agitation by the Players’ union on the welfare of the players.

Conclusively, we applaud the Nigeria Football Federation for deeming it worthy to bring on board the Domestic Transfer Matching System and we hope that clubs and football administrators lend their support to the functionality of the system.

•Amobi Ezeaku, Esq. is the Team Manager of Rangers International FC of Enugu. Your comments and reactions are welcome. Please send to 08038338272, 08158461730 or by e-mail to;

Source Daily Sports

Posted December 10, 2016

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