South African Agents Under Fire For Alleged Collusion
South African Agents Are Coming Under Fire
South Africa’s Competition Commission has referred the South African Football Intermediaries Association to the Competition Tribunal for – among other things – collusion.
As background for their decision, the CC explained, “In May 2015, the South African Football Association (SAFA) acting on instructions of FIFA sought to regulate the affairs of football agents, including to reduce the 10% commission to 3%. SAFIA blocked this attempt through a court interdict.
“In July 2015, the Commission received a complaint from SAFIA against SAFA. SAFIA alleged that the 3% cap introduced by SAFA constitutes fixing of an agent’s fee in contravention of the Competition Act. Following an investigation, the Commission decided not to prosecute SAFA. Instead, the Commission decided to launch an investigation in December 2015 against SAFIA and its members for fixing the commission they charge football players and coaches.”
Now, in their press release, they say that they referred SAFIA and 36 of its members to the Competition Tribunal for ‘prosecution in relation to fixing of prices and trading conditions’.
A statement read as follows:
SAFIA is a body of sports agents who manage soccer players and coaches. They, by and large, negotiate transfer fees and contracts on behalf of players and coaches. A Commission investigation has revealed the following, among others:
• SAFIA and its members agreed to charge soccer players and coaches a standard 10% commission fee when negotiating and concluding, on their behalf, new contracts, transfer contracts, and renewal contracts with football clubs ;
• They also charge football players and coaches a standard 20% commission fee when negotiating and concluding, on their behalf, new commercial contracts and renewal of those contracts with sponsors; and
• They use SAFIA as a platform for collusion.
In referring the matter to the Tribunal for prosecution, the Commission is seeking an order declaring that SAFIA and its members contravened the Competition Act. The Commission also wants SAFIA and its members to cease from engaging in this conduct and similar conduct in future.
Further, the Commission is seeking an order declaring that each of the 37 parties be held liable for the payment of the maximum fine allowable in terms of the Competition Act.
The list of parties includes some of South Africa’s biggest agencies such as ProSport International, Siyavuma Sports, The Players Club, MSC Sports and QT Sports.