FIFA president Sepp Blatter says third-party ownership in football to be banned

Image: Sepp Blatter: Third party ownership set to be banned

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has confirmed football's governing body has agreed to ban third-party ownership of players.

Blatter said a working group would be set up to implement the ban which would come into effect following "a transitional period".

Third-party ownership allows outside investors to profit from player transfers and is very popular in Latin America, Spain and Portugal - it is already banned in England.

UEFA, which has campaigned for a worldwide ban to be put in place, says the practice drains huge sums of money from the sport and threatens the integrity of competitions when players are transferred regularly to generate profits.

"We took a firm decision that TPO should be banned but it cannot be banned immediately, there will be a transitional period," Blatter told a press conference following a meeting of FIFA's executive committee.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has confirmed football's governing body has agreed to ban third-party ownership of players.

Blatter also confirmed that he will be standing for a fifth term as president, although that official announcement had been expected for some weeks.

"I have announced to the Executive Committee... that I will accept the demands of different associations and federations (to stand for election) to serve FIFA for a fifth mandate," he added.

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The 78-year-old has been FIFA's leader since 1998, but has faced growing criticism from European football chiefs in recent months.

Michel Platini, UEFA chief, had been touted as a possible rival to Blatter but he will not be launching a challenge, with the only competition so far coming from former FIFA deputy secretary Jerome Champagne.

Champagne has said FIFA needs reform after widespread accusations of corruption, but has acknowledged he has little chance of beating Blatter.

The Swiss has also rejected calls to have Michael Garcia's report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups made public.

Garcia issued a statement on Wednesday calling for FIFA's ruling board to allow "appropriate publication" of his work. He has submitted first-draft reports totalling 430 pages from his investigative team.

Blatter says no member of his executive committee asked for the report to be published at its meeting on Friday.

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