After seven years of promises, football’s governing body FIFA has agreed to ban the third-party ownership – known as ‘TPO’ – of players.
In an October 2007 statement, Blatter had already said the practice would be banned, however FIFA did not immediately follow through with the promise.
TPO is when the transfer rights of players are at least partially, if not wholly, owned by the footballer himself, instead of just the player’s club.
The practice is banned in England, France and Poland, but is present in other European countries, such as Portugal, and widespread in Brazil and Argentina.
FIFA President, Sepp Blatter announced the decision: “We took the decision, a firm decision, that TPO should be banned. But it cannot be banned immediately.
“There will be a transitional period, and this working group under the chairmanship of (FIFA Vice President) Geoffrey Thomson is working on that. That is very important.”
The announcement came amid building pressure from European football’s governing body UEFA, which said it would authorise a unilateral ban on TPO, if FIFA didn’t act.
Blatter also used the occasion to reconfirm his intention to run for the presidency in the 2015 FIFA elections.