- Around 700 candidates sat the crucial FIFA agents’ exam at Birmingham’s NEC
- WiFi issues had led to delays and some candidates being allowed to use phones
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The second agents’ exam descended into chaos today, with some claiming their livelihoods have been put at risk on a shambolic afternoon.
Around 700 representatives flocked to Birmingham’s NEC for FIFA’s intermediaries test, which candidates needed to pass to continue being an agent beyond October.
However, the venue was beset by WiFi issues and the event was slammed as ‘pathetic’ by those involved who now fear they may have flunked and will lose their clients.
Mail Sport understands that the crucial tests, deemed by some as the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ were meant to start at 1pm. However, a lack of working WiFI meant some faced delays of up to 40 minutes. With panic levels rising, some were then allowed to use their own mobile phones to get online, leading to concerns over the integrity of the process.
And things got worse when the test itself was beset by further delays thanks to a poor signal. That meant that, for many agents, they were left waiting for considerable amounts of time for their exam systems to move to the next question.
Some 3,800 sat the first test earlier in April at London’s ExCel Arena, with 48 per cent failing
Candidates must pass FIFA’s exams worldwide to continue being an agent beyond October
Candidates were given an hour to complete the test but some complained that – thanks to the delays – they were left with seven minutes to answer the final six questions.
To make matters worse, a series of PA announcements boomed out during the exams, wrecking concentration levels and causing further disruption.
Some claim they approached FA officials, who were overseeing the exam for FIFA, but were told that they could not help and that their concerns went unaddressed.
‘It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious,’ said one agent, who asked not to be named. ‘The WiFi not working was a joke. Nobody could start on time and some were told to connect to the internet by using their phones which means, if you wanted to, you could use the internet to potentially cheat.
‘For some it then took ages to move from question to question and you only had a set amount of time. It meant that people were just flying through the final ones to get it done in time. They also started putting out really loud announcements telling people to make sure they left quietly as, because of the disruption, that meant people were starting at different time. The announcements caused more issues than they solved.’
The agent slated those involved. ‘This is people’s livelihoods we are talking about,’ they said. ‘If they don’t pass then they could well lose their clients. To have that taken away from you because of someone else’s incompetence is unbelievable.’
However, it would appear those affected may have a lifeline. A spokesperson for the FA said: ‘Technical issues were experienced today during the sitting of the FIFA football agent exam, and some of the candidates were unable to complete the exam in time. We are working with FIFA to agree next steps and we apologise to candidates who were affected by these technical challenges.’
FIFA have been contacted for comment.
The first sittings took place in April. Nearly half of those who sat that test, across the football world, failed. Some of those impacted at the NEC were re-sitting.
Source From: Football | Mail Online