The working group on third-party ownership of players’ economic rights (TPO) met in Zurich today to discuss the prerequisites for the implementation of a ban on TPO.  It follows on from the recent decision of general principle by the FIFA Executive Committee to stop the practice with a transitional period.

Chaired by Geoff Thompson, the working group has been tasked with drafting the necessary and adequate regulations to be included in the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players with the aim to present them to FIFA’s Players’ Status Committee, as well as to the other competent FIFA bodies and ultimately to the Executive Committee for approval.

At its meeting today, the working group discussed the appropriate timeline for the new regulations to come into effect allowing a transitional period for clubs in all Member Associations to adapt to the new situation. Several other elements of the new proposed regulations were discussed, including a proper definition of Third Party Ownership to be incorporated. The group also agreed that a central element in working towards the goal of banning TPO is the utilisation of the international transfer matching system provided by FIFA TMS in terms of how to ensure clubs’ compliance with the ban by means of declarations related to TPO.

The working group will report next to the Bureau of the Players’ Status Committee on the current status of the discussions in order for the Bureau to submit its report to FIFA’s Executive Committee in December.

As part of its mandate and roadmap, the working group will be regularly reporting to the Players’ Status Committee and Executive Committee in the coming months, reviewing the overall progress towards the finalisation of the new regulatory proposal. A final draft is expected to be submitted to the Executive Committee prior to 65th FIFA Congress in May 2015, where it is expected that FIFA’s members will be informed of a solution on TPO.

Today’s meeting was attended by representatives of the football community at the confederation, Member Association, league and club level as well as by representatives of FIFPro. The working group met in Zurich for the first time on 2 September 2014 after the announcement of its creation at the 64th FIFA Congress in June, after the preliminary consultations within FIFA’s competent Standing Committees were completed and the conclusion of the two research studies that FIFA had previously mandated on the TPO practices, which ran from January 2013 to May 2014.