European body upholds FIFA ban on 3rd party transfer deals

BRUSSELS — The European Commission will not investigate a complaint against the ban on third-party investors owning soccer players' transfer rights.

In a letter to Malta-based investment fund Doyen, officials say "the Commission does not intend to carry out a more in-depth inquiry into your allegations."

Doyen and Belgian lower-division club Seraing argued that FIFA's 2015 ban on third-party ownership (TPO) violated European competition laws.

The European Commission in Brussels rejects that view, and notes that TPO creates conflicts of interest between clubs, players, and investors.

FIFA and UEFA worked to impose the ban to stop players from moving between clubs solely for profit-taking and to protect the game's integrity.

UEFA welcomes the ruling and says it is "both immoral and illegal" to trade players' economic rights.

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