The independent Court of Arbitration for Sport has stopped a 15-year-old American boy from joining Ajax’ youth training programme because it believes the boy’s family moved to Europe so he could play, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.
The tribunal’s verdict has not yet been published but current affairs show Nieuwsuur says it was given the information as part of its research into youth transfers. Under Fifa rules, non-EU players below the age of 18 are not allowed to move to a European club, unless their parents have been relocated by their employers.
John Kenneth Hilton moved to the Netherlands two years ago. His parents told the tribunal that they were convinced their four children’s education would be ‘enriched’ by a spell abroad. However, both Fifa and the tribunal said they were not convinced the move was unconnected to football.
For example, the boy played indoor football for a club with links to Ajax and had been ‘on show’ to all the major European clubs since 2010, Nieuwsuur said.
‘I can really follow the panel’s reasoning when they say there is a clear link between the move and football,’ sports lawyer Louis Everard told Nieuwsuur.
Ajax told Nieuwsuur that it had played no role in the family’s move and that there had only been contact between them and the club once they had moved to the Netherlands.