Court of Arbitration for Sport Tribunal Arbitral du Sport
MEDIA RELEASE FOOTBALL THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) CONFIRMS THE VALIDITY OF THE FIFA REGULATIONS ON THE PROHIBITION OF THIRD-PARTY OWNERSHIP (TPO) Lausanne, 10 April 2017 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between RFC Seraing and FIFA. The dispute concerned two Third-Party Ownership (TPO) contracts, the first concluded in January 2015 and the second in July 2015. The FIFA Disciplinary Commission concluded that the Belgian club had committed a double violation of Articles 18b and 18c of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players for having concluded contracts which allow a third party to acquire in the course of work or transfers of players the capacity to influence the independence and the policy of the club and to have entered into agreements with a third-party allowing the latter to be entitled to an indemnity payable in connection with the future transfer of certain players and to be granted rights in connection with a transfer or future transfer indemnity. Consequently, the FIFA Disciplinary Commission banned RFC Seraing from registering players on a national and international level for four consecutive registration periods, and imposed a fine of CHF 150,000. On 9 March 2016, RFC Seraing appealed this decision before the CAS, requesting that the CAS annul the challenged decision on the basis that the FIFA regulations on TPO were illegal. In its decision, CAS confirmed the validity of articles 18b and 18c of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players under European law (freedom of movement, competition law and human rights) and Swiss law. The CAS, however, considered that the sanction imposed on the Belgian club was too severe and reduced the duration of the ban on recruitment to three consecutive registration periods. The award (in French) is published on the CAS website. For further information related to the CAS activity and procedures in general, please contact either Matthieu Reeb, CAS Secretary General, or Katy Hogg, Communications Officer. Château de Béthusy, Avenue de Beaumont 2, 1012 Lausanne, Switzerland.