Belgian court backs FIFA ban on third-party player ownership
FIFA has welcomed the upholding of its ban on third-party investors owning players' transfer rights by a Belgian court.
World football's governing body said the Brussels court rejected arguments that the ban was a breach of European Union competition laws.
The case against the ban was brought by lawyers for the Doyen Sports Investments fund and Belgian second-division club Seraing United.
Third-party ownership is most prevalent among agents with agents, investors and clubs in Latin America, Spain and Portugal.
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They have argued that it enables clubs to sign players who would otherwise be too expensive, but critics say it poses a threat to the game's integrity.
A FIFA statement said: "FIFA takes this opportunity to reiterate its confidence in the legality of the ban on third party ownership, which is indispensable for preserving clubs' and players' independence and for ensuring the integrity of matches and competitions."
The ban, which is being phased in, came after a campaign by UEFA.
In a statement earlier this year, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said third-party ownership "is a kind of modern slavery, where you see players belonging to investment funds, or other, generally unidentified, corporate entities."