Dutch banks were reluctant to partner with a proposed FIFA Clearing House in the Netherlands so the multi-billion project went to Paris, according to NOS broadcaster.
The body was set up to distribute around $400 million a year for clubs that train others but also to “promote financial transparency and integrity, and avoid fraudulent contact in the transfer system”.
But NOS claims plans to set up in Amsterdam floundered because Dutch banks believed there was too great a risk of fraud and money laundering in payments to all kinds of advisers and funds as well as training clubs.
A report for Dutch central bank DNB warned in 2017 that there was a risk of money laundering in the football world in general due to “the number of transactions, limited visibility” and the difficulty in checking them objectively.
Bankers told NOS that the Dutch sector viewed the clearing house proposal as extremely tricky. One reportedly said: “For banks, this is even more risky than pornography.”
The body went in the end to Paris and amateur clubs have been able to claim compensation for international training from the clearing house since November 2022, in an attempt to support young talent.
The NOS reported that it is unclear which French bank is partnering with FIFA or how it assessed money laundering risks more positively than in the Netherlands.
FIFA told NOS that the French capital was chosen due to its position as a “financial crossroads and excellent financial supervision in France”.
Dutch News has asked FIFA for a comment.