The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Belgian club FC Seraing with a transfer ban and fine of CHF 150,000 for breaches relating to the third-party ownership of players’ economic rights (TPO) and third-party influence.

The transfer ban will prevent the club from registering any new players, nationally or internationally, for four complete and consecutive registration periods.

TPO refers to the circumstances in which a third party invests in the economic rights of a professional player, potentially in order to receive a share of the value of any future transfer of that player. The FIFA Executive Committee decided in December 2014 to ban the practice of TPO, allowing a transitional period from 1 January to 30 April 2015, in order to preserve the independence of clubs and players and to ensure the integrity of matches and competitions.  

In the case of FC Seraing, the Disciplinary Committee found the club to have breached articles 18bis and 18ter of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players by having sold part of the economic rights of several players to a third party and by having entered into contracts that enabled the third party to have influence on the club’s independence and policies in transfer-related matters.

The sanctions, which include the transfer ban and fine as well as a reprimand and warning, were imposed in accordance with articles 13, 14, 15 and 23 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

Disciplinary proceedings had been opened following investigations conducted by FIFA TMS, the FIFA subsidiary charged with ensuring that international transfers of professional male players are conducted correctly through the International Transfer Matching System (ITMS), the use of which has been mandatory since 2010.

FC Seraing were notified of the terms of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s decision today.