The general meeting of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga decided in its meeting on Tuesday 2 April for a new minimum age for players in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. Clause 14 number 1 of the Licensing Regulations for Players (LOS) is amended so that youth players can be granted a gaming license by the age of 16. The DFL is thus aligning its statutes with the regulations of many other national football leagues in Europe. The change will take effect from the 2020/21 season.
The DFL commissions "Football" and "Performance Centers" had dealt with the application in advance and supported it. According to the previous regulation, only "A-juniors of the younger and older age group and B-juniors of the older age group after reaching the age of 17" can be granted eligibility to play. In the current season, the earliest age for a player to be eligible to play is 16 years and six months. The youngest player used in Bundesliga history is Nuri Sahin (now of Werder Bremen), who made his debut for Borussia Dortmund in the opening game of the 2005/06 season at the age of 16 years, 11 months and one day.
Dortmund could be one of the first club's to take advantage of the revised law, with U19 star Youssoufa Moukoko - who made his debut for the Dortmund U17s at the age of 12, and began the 2019/20 campaign with the U19s - already in the plans of head coach Lucien Favre.
Watch: Youssoufa Moukoko scores a wondergoal for Dortmund in 2018 at 13
The 15-year-old has scored 35 goals in 26 appearances this season alone, and was recently rewarded with a maiden call-up to the Germany U19s. Dortmund's youth coordinator Lars Ricken has told Kicker that the club are "very happy with the decision".
"It immediately help the clubs, but also the young players in their development," continued Ricken. "The majority of clubs now want to give young, exceptionally talented players the opportunity to take the next step in development in absolutely exceptional cases."
Moukoko will turn 16 on 20 November and will then become eligible to play in the Bundesliga.