FIFPro and Uefa launch legal action to eradicate TPO

The two influential bodies are looking to build on the efforts already put into place by Fifa

Players’ union FIFPro has filed a joint legal action with Uefa with the intention of eliminating third-party ownership (TPO) of footballers.

Fifa is phasing in legislation designed to stamp out TPO, starting on May 1, but FIFPro and Uefa hope their complaint lodged with the European Commission will "ensure any potential loopholes and windows for circumvention of the new regulations put forth are closed".

In addition to the prevention of new TPO agreements, FIFPro and Uefa are also demanding existing arrangements are deemed illegal and unenforceable.

FIFPro secretary-general Theo van Seggelen said: "Despite the ban announced by Fifa, which is welcome, FIFPro is not prepared to rest on its laurels. We see a need to reinforce Fifa's position and create an even stronger argument that improves on the new Fifa regulations.

"What we and Uefa have put to the European Commission is that by applying basic principles enshrined in EU law all existing TPO agreements will be declared illegal and therefore not enforceable. This would expand on the rationale behind the implementation of a worldwide TPO ban.

"The threat posed by TPO and similar practices is so great that we must take this action, to protect our players and the industry at large. Football's questionable track record when it comes to implementing effective regulations, as seen in the failed Fifa player agents licensing scheme, further suggests that this joint FIFPro-Uefa legal action is required to effectively confront TPO."

FIFPro president Phillipe Piat added: "Footballers are still treated like commodities, not as human beings. TPO opens the door to parasites who manipulate players for profit. They buy and sell in a manner that exposes the failings of the transfer system. TPO must not be looked at in isolation. The transfer system is the breeding ground for abusive practices such as TPO."