Fifa to ban third-party ownership of players

Sepp Blatter also rejects calls to publish report into World Cup corruption

Sepp Blatter addresses a news conference in Zurich this afternoon. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

Sepp Blatter addresses a news conference in Zurich this afternoon. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

 

Fifa will ban the third-party ownership of players, president Sepp Blatter said today.

Blatter said a working group would be set up to implement the ban which would come into effect following “a transitional period”.

“We took a firm decision that TPO should be banned but it cannot be banned immediately there will be a transitional period,” Blatter explained following a meeting of the executive committee.

His announcement followed pressure from Uefa, which had said it would ban it unilaterally if Fifa did not act.

Third-party ownership is when the transfer rights of players are wholly or partially owned by the footballer himself or a company, instead of just the player’s club.

It is widespread in Brazil and Argentina but is also present in some European countries such as Portugal.

Blatter, meanwhile, rejected calls to publish a secret report into alleged World Cup bidding corruption.

The report into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was compiled by independent investigator Michael Garcia but Blatter and Fifa’s legal chief say any decision on publishing the report is out of their hands and would threaten the confidentiality that had been guaranteed to the 75 witnesses.

Garcia himself and a number of Fifa executive committee members including Northern Ireland’s Jim Boyce have called for the report to be published.

Russia won the bid for the 2018 World Cup — England’s rival bid received the fewest votes — while Qatar will stage the 2022 tournament.

Any decision to publish now rests the German judge, Hans-Joachim Eckert, who is considering the report and will announce his findings in November.

Blatter, who refused to clarify whether he had returned his €19,00 watch — one of 65 handed out by the Brazil FA in June — following an order by the ethics committee, also confirmed to the executive committee that he will stand for a fifth terms as president at the election in May.

He said: “I have announced to the executive committee that I will respect the demands and pleas of different associations and federations to serve Fifa for a fifth mandate if they are happy with me to be elected on May 29th next year.”

And the Gibraltar FA has announced it will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after Fifa rejected its bid to become a member.

Blatter said the “FA of Gibraltar cannot be accepted as a member” because it contravened the world governing body’s statutes regarding independent territories.

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory but won an appeal to CAS to be accepted into Uefa and played its first European qualifying fixture in September - a 7-0 defeat to Poland.

A spokesman for the Gibraltar FA said: “We expected this decision by Fifa based on their statutes which in their view states Gibraltar is not an independent territory so we have initiated our appeal to CAS. That’s our next step.

“We are an Uefa member nation now and we will take it to the next stage — if you look at the history of our Uefa membership that’s the way it went as well.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.