Our 14-years old daughter wants to play as a goalkeeper in a female football team. She practices already athletics, but decided anyway to play in addition football. The society told us that we need to procure certain documents and we remained a mouth open when we heard which documents. The birth certificate, certificate of residence, certificate of family situation, medical certification for sport (we had already one done for athletics), two photos, a photocopy of her id card. Then my daughter and I went to sign all the forms and the meaning was that she could have played first time yesterday.
The person that is responsible of the bureaucracy in the society called me on Friday that FIGC (the Italian football organization) demanded more documents, because my daughter is a foreigner, Finnish. They asked a copy of our permit to stay – if I have an official document from our town that we have a residence there doesn’t it mean that we are legally in Italy. Then as an EU citizen nowadays nobody asks for permit of stay. Fortunately, we have a permanent permission we got some years ago. The next document they asked for made my blood boil – a certificate that either my husband or I work here in Italy. I can’t find any connection between my work and the football.
Maybe due to the fact that I have lived so many years in this country I don’t believe everything. Therefore, I checked from FIGC’s own pages about the documents needed for an underage player that is written first time to FIGC. I found that there is a rule of 5 years. If an underage, foreign player has lived continuously 5 years in the country in which he/she wants to play football there is no need to ask for permit of stay, certification of work from parents etc.
Now I’m waiting for news from the society. Yesterday I sent the link to this page for the person in charge. Certainly, I could have sent all the documents asked, but according to me, the football association doesn’t need to know anything about my job or my husband’s. This is more a question of privacy. I read from FIGC’s page that with these controls they want to avoid that parents try to earn money with young footballers. However, maybe they could use some common sense – if my daughter is born here in Italy, we are not trying to exploit her as a football player in some way and if we have all the documents from our town, we must be legal immigrants. Why make simple things more complicated. Sport is supposed to unite nations and people, but football seems to act in an opposite way – some parents just get sick of being treated like criminals only because they are foreigners living in Italy and therefore their kids can’t play football.