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SA football agents to be prosecuted for price fixing

The South African Football Intermediaries Association (SAFIA) and 36 of its members are to be prosecuted in front of the South African Competition Tribunal in relation to the fixing and pricing of trading conditions in representing football clients.

SAFIA is a body of sports agents who manage football players and coaches, negotiating their transfer fees, contracts and wages.

According to a statement released by the Competition Commission, 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”.

The statement added that the agents “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.”

The agents are also accused of “using 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,” the statement continued.

“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.”

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.

The 37 parties involved are:

SAIFA, Pro Sport International (Pty) Ltd, Siyavuma Sports Group (Pty) Ltd, The Players Club CC, Bidvest Media (Pty) Ltd, Quality Talent Sports (Pty) Ltd, Prof’ Sionalz Marketing and Management CC, JDR Consulting (Pty) Ltd, P Management (Pty) Ltd, Musawenkosi Arthur Dlamini, Tebogo Taunyane Hlapolosa, GG Sports Agency (Pty) Ltd, Erika Bester, Sierra Sports Agency CC, KN Sports CC, Bheki Khathide, Liberate Resources Sports Management CC, Eclectic Sports Manegement (Pty) Ltd, On the Ball Sports Management (Pty) Ltd, Touchline Sports Management (Pty) Ltd, Eliot Nzama, Ben Kokela, ETM Sports Management CC, Sports Midfield Agency (Pty) Ltd, Alex Bondarenko, Mede8 Sports (Pty) Ltd, New Generation Sports Management (Pty) Ltd, Abelsam Sports Management CC, Cape Colosseum Management CC, Sipho Shaven, MVP Sports Management International (Pty) Ltd, Modhouma Holding (Pty) Ltd, Gladwin Mpho Diokane, Vasili Barbis, Phelele Mkhize, MS Sport Management (Pty) Ltd. – Sport24

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