In accordance with the FIFA Statutes of October 2020, players may only be registered during one or two annual registration periods fixed by the relevant association. Associations may fix different registration periods for their male and female competitions.
Nevertheless, a professional whose contract has expired prior to the end of a registration period may be registered outside that registration period. Associations are authorized to register such professionals provided due consideration is given to the sporting intergrity of the relevant competition. Where a contract has been terminated with just cause, FIFA may take provisional measures in order to avoid abuse subject to article 22 of the FIFA Statues of October 2020.
As a temporary exception, a professional whose contract has expired or been terminated because of the covid – 19 has the right to be registered by an association outside a registration period, regardless of the date of expiry or termination.
- The first registration period shall begin after the completion of the season and shall normally end before the new season starts, subject to some exceptions. This period may not exceed 12 weeks.
- The second registration period shall normally occur in the middle of the season and may not exceed 4 weeks.
The two registration periods for the season shall be entered into the Transfer Matching System (TMS) at least 12 months before they come into force. Failure to communicate the registration period on time to FIFA, the later shall determine the dates for any association.
The provisions concerning registration periods do not apply to competitions in which only amateurs participate. The relevant association shall specify the periods when players may be registered for such competitions provided that due consideration is given to the sporting integrity of the relevant competition.