14 Dec 2017
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Fifa to put a stop to third-party ownership of players’ economic rights

MUMBAI: Chaired by Fifa president Blatter, the Fifa Executive Committee held a two-day meeting, the third of the year, at the home of soccer’s governing body in Zurich.

The meeting started with a tribute to former Fifa senior VP Julio Humberto Grondona, who passed away on 30 July.

In order to protect the integrity of the game and the players, the Executive Committee took the decision of general principle that third-party ownership of players’ economic rights (TPO) shall be banned with a transitional period. The matter is now back in the hands of the TPO working group, under the chairmanship of Geoff Thompson, for the relevant technical regulations to be drafted. The draft will be submitted to the Players’ Status Committee and then to the Executive Committee for approval.

Regarding the current proceedings of the independent Ethics Committee in relation to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, the executive welcomed the recent information from the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber, Hans-Joachim Eckert, confirming that a first public statement of the committee’s position with regard to the report of the investigatory chamber is likely to be made at the beginning of November. The executive also demanded that the principle of confidentiality be respected, in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Ethics.

Further financial support from Fifa’s solidarity funds include a contribution of $1 million for the construction of two football turf pitches for Syrian refugees in Lebanon as well as $250,000 for the building of a football school in the region of Soma, Turkey, where the worst mining disaster in Turkish history occurred in May.

With the objective of leaving a lasting legacy in the host country Brazil, the executive decided to add an amount of $80 million to the 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil Legacy Fund, thus reaching a total amount of $100 million. The fund’s reach goes beyond infrastructure, also encompassing efforts aimed at fostering growth of both women’s and grassroots football, as well as preventative healthcare, public health and social programmes for underprivileged communities. These projects will be approved in line with Fifa’s development strategies.

The executive also approved the renewal of the Club Protection Programme for the 2015-2018 cycle, which will also cover women’s international “A” matches. The total cost is estimated at EUR 100 million.

The executive also discussed upcoming Fifa competitions. For the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia, the reduction in capacity to 35,000 of the stadiums in Kaliningrad and Ekaterinburg was approved. Regarding the Fifa Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, the executive ratified the decision to assign an independent company to travel to Canada in order to test pitches and training fields to ensure they fulfil the Fifa quality requirements.