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Dai deal forces CFA to hasten transfer reforms

THE Chinese Football Association has given the green light for former Liaoning FC defender Dai Lin's transfer to Shanghai Shenhua following his two-month stint with Bosnian club FK Slavija Sarajevo.

The deal, which has provoked outcry at the Liaoning club, has once again brought CFA's regulations on transfer of players into the spotlight. The rules state that Chinese clubs retain the registration of players for another 30 months after the expiration of their contracts; otherwise, a "transfer fee" is to be given by the new club.

Dai expressed his wish to leave the team early this year after Liaoning was demoted to Chinese League One last season. The 21-year-old central defender signed an agreement with FK Slavija Sarajevo in February and left China in May. However, just two months later, he returned on a free transfer and joined Shanghai Shenhua early this month.

Getting no "transfer fee" from either the Bosnian side or Shenhua, Liaoning FC questioned Dai's transfer to Shanghai until the CFA approved his Chinese Super League registration last Friday, saying the deal was in line with FIFA regulations.

However, the CFA admitted Dai had exploited a "loophole" and promised to introduce rules and reforms to block any similar deals going through in the future, it said in a statement.

CFA has set up a panel to modify FIFA regulations on players' registration and transfer. "We need to speed up reforms on the regulations. The modification of players' registration and transfer would be finished within this year," it said. According to FIFA regulations, a "training compensation" is to be given to the former club when any player aged under 23 is transferred.

Liaoning FC has not given up its right to compensation, Sui Yan, deputy manager of the club said.

It's not the first time CFA transfer regulations have "stood in the way" of Chinese players joining a foreign club after the expiry of their deal.

China midfielder Zhou Haibin signed a contract with Dutch league champion PSV Eindhoven in February after his contract with CSL champion Shandong Luneng expired at the end of last season.

Zhou was dubbed "China's Bosman," a reference to Jean-Marc Bosman, a Belgian player best known for his judicial challenge of the transfer rules that led to the famous Bosman ruling in 1995. However, PSV and Shandong were later said to have reached an agreement over an unknown "transfer fee."


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