The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has certificated Emmanuel T. David as a licensed intermediary. As an intermediary, or otherwise known as an agent, David will oversee the professional and personal aspects of a footballer's life.
It includes overseeing the negotiations of transfers, contracts and sponsors to player and relationships with clubs, friends, education and their own finances.
David, who has been working for 10 years to be licensed to conduct local or international transfers, said he was delighted with the latest achievement.
"I am so happy. I am overwhelmed," he said. "And I am also grateful to God for this management, especially at this point in time, because we have been after this for a long time. And by the grace of God, it came with all of the requirements met, and I am so grateful."
Over the last decade, David admitted, he couldn't do business out of Liberia because he wasn't officially licensed. He said then LFA Vice President Musa Shannon promised to help him with the process, but it didn't materialize until LFA President Mustapha Raji took over.
David has negotiated four international transfers from Liberia but didn't get his required commissions due to a lack of proper identity.
They included Herron Scarla Berrian to South Africa and to Greece; Prince Saydee to South Africa and Terrance Tisdell and Stephen Seameh to Mozambique.
"They [clubs] gave me what they wanted and it affected me negatively. In Mozambique, the club's president wanted me to have been present in Maputo during the signing ceremony.
"But he needed my document and license for onward submission to their FA [Football Association], to process visa on arrival for me, but I couldn't go because I didn't have a license or document.
"So they did it the best way they could and sent me the information. And I had to accept the result and everything they wanted to send. That was it. I kept my faith in God because I know I would have arrived one day," he added.
David has been to seven countries, including Ivory Coast, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana and Guinea, working almost for nothing and can't wait to legally regain what was eaten by the locust.
"Frankly, I have been working at a disadvantage for a long time. And you can see I am all smiles because I now have my license to legally operate and thank God for it," he concluded.
A FIFA 2018 report has shown an increased involvement of intermediaries in all international transfers completed in the international transfer matching system (ITMS), since it was introduced on 1 January 2013.
And for the first time, the report also includes data on intermediary involvement in women's football. It says 1,060 of the 7,457 clubs involved in international transfers since 2013 used an intermediary at least once.
Of the 16,421 international transfers completed in 2018, 1,205 involved intermediaries who represented the engaging clubs; 335 involved intermediaries who represented the releasing clubs, and 2,304 involved intermediaries who represented the players.
The spending on commissions paid to intermediaries increased to US$548 million in 2018 and a total of US$2.14 billion since 2013. Of the 695 international transfers of female professional players completed since 1 January, 24 involved intermediaries representing the engaging clubs and 167 involved intermediaries representing the players. A total of US$79,993 was paid in commission to club intermediaries.
The data published in the report were extracted from the ITMS, which is used by FIFA 211 members and over 7,500 professional football clubs around the globe for the international transfer of professional football players.