The Brussels first-instance tribunal has rejected an application by Doyen Sports Investments and Belgian second-division club Seraing United against FIFA, UEFA and the Belgian FA for a temporary injunction to suspend the implementation of the worldwide ban on third-party ownership (TPO). The conditions of the ban are set out in article 18ter of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP), which was approved by the FIFA Executive Committee in December 2014.
In the decision passed on Friday, 24 July 2015, the tribunal held that the applicants had failed to prove their allegations that upon initial examination, the ban contravened EU law or was disproportionate to the attainment of the legitimate objectives sought by the introduction of this new regulation, such as the protection of players and the integrity of the game.
The court noted that FIFPro had intervened in the proceedings on the side of the defendants and referred to the specificity of sport and to the arguments presented for justifying the imposition of the ban, holding that although the activity of TPO is of a financial nature, it primarily has consequences of a purely sporting nature.
FIFA takes this opportunity to reiterate its confidence in the legality of the ban on TPO, which is indispensable for preserving clubs’ and players’ independence and for ensuring the integrity of matches and competitions.