FIFA welcomes the award given yesterday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the case involving the Belgian club FC Seraing, who were sanctioned by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (as confirmed by the FIFA Appeal Committee) for breaches relating to the third-party ownership of players’ economic rights (TPO) and third-party influence (articles 18ter and 18bis of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players).

With this decision, which came after a thorough and comprehensive examination of the arguments raised and an analysis of all relevant legal provisions, mainly of EU law, and despite a slight reduction in the original transfer ban imposed from four to three registration periods, CAS has recognised and confirmed the validity of FIFA’s ban on TPO, which was adopted in order to preserve the independence of clubs and players in matters of recruitment and transfer, and to ensure the integrity of matches and competitions.

Following the decisions in interim relief proceedings before the Brussels first-instance tribunal and the Brussels Court of Appeal, which held that there was no prima facie case to adjudge the TPO ban illegal, yesterday’s CAS award is the first decision that unreservedly recognises the compatibility of the ban on TPO with EU law.

Further information concerning TPO is available in this FAQ document