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FIFA recently fined four soccer clubs in Argentina for what it technically said were “reasons that were not of a sporting nature.” Basically, the fines were for transferring players to Uruguay for no other reason than to save them from paying higher taxes in Argentina. FIFA called the cases bridge transfers and said it was the first time they’ve punished clubs for them even though the phony transfers have been going on for about 20 years now.
FIFA Fines Argentine Clubs for Fake Transfers
03/08/2014
 

FIFA recently fined four soccer clubs in Argentina for what it technically said were “reasons that were not of a sporting nature.” Basically, the fines were for transferring players to Uruguay for no other reason than to save them from paying higher taxes in Argentina. FIFA called the cases bridge transfers and said it was the first time they’ve punished clubs for them even though the phony transfers have been going on for about 20 years now.

 

According to the Uruguayan football federation, as well as enabling the players to pay less tax, the transfers are also sometimes made to benefit those investors who own transfer rights to a player. The four clubs from Argentina that were involved in these moves are Independiente, Instituto Atletico Central Cordoba, Racing Club and Rosario Central.

 

FIFA said these teams transferred six players in total in 2012 to and from Uruguayan club Atletica Sud America. The players were sent for very short periods of time and none of them played a single game for Atletica Sud America. Both Independiente and Instituto were handed fines of $57,000 by FIFA while Rosario Central was fined $23,000 and Racing Club was fined $17,000.

 

Sud America, the Uruguayan team which was receiving the players, has been banned from any player-transfer activity during the next two transfer windows and was also nailed with a $45,500 fine by FIFA. In 2012 the federal tax agency of Argentina informed FIFA that Argentine players were being transferred to seven different Uruguayan teams and a pair of clubs in Chile as a way to avoid the higher Argentine tax rates.

 

FIFA was also told that the transfer fees would sometimes go through different offshore companies. According to the tax agency, the transfer fees would be shared between the player’s agent, the player and whoever owned the transfer rights.

 
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