Media Release

Fédération Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

Thursday 17 March 2016, 16:08

FIFA welcomes Brussels Court of Appeal ruling on third-party ownership

The Brussels Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Doyen Sports Investments, the Belgian second-division club Seraing United and the Spanish Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LFP) against FIFA, UEFA, the Belgian FA and FIFPro seeking a temporary injunction to suspend the implementation of the worldwide ban on third-party ownership of players’ economic rights (TPO).

A ban on TPO was decided by the FIFA Executive Committee in December 2014, the conditions of which are set out in article 18ter of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP).

In the decision, which was handed down on 10 March 2016, the Court of Appeal upheld the position of the Brussels first-instance tribunal in finding the appellants to have failed to prove their allegations that the ban contravened EU law. The Court of Appeal emphasised, inter alia, the opacity of TPO, the absence of control by governing bodies, the significance of this worldwide phenomenon and of the amounts of money involved, as well as the environment which is prone to corruption and other fraudulent practices. For these reasons, it held that a prima facie finding that the ban on TPO infringes EU competition law was impossible to make.

FIFA takes this opportunity to reiterate its confidence in the legality of the ban on TPO, which is indispensable for preserving the independence of clubs and players and for ensuring the integrity of matches and competitions.

Further information on TPO is available via the links below.

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