UEFA urges ban on 3rd-party player transfer rights

UEFA stepped up opposition to investors owning stakes in

players’ transfer rights on Thursday, warning it would take action

if FIFA failed to act.

UEFA’s executive committee said it would introduce rules

covering European club competitions ”should FIFA not take the

appropriate steps.”

”Third-party ownership should be prohibited as a matter of

principle,” UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said. ”FIFA

will be requested to issue the relevant worldwide

regulations.”

Third-party ownership allows investors to buy a stake in a

player from his club, and cash in on future transfer fees.

Infantino said the ”integrity of competitions” was at

risk.

UEFA believes the practice distorts fairness as clubs sign

players they could not otherwise afford, and allows investors to

syphon money from the game.

The practice is banned in some countries, including France and

England, where it was outlawed after disputes followed West Ham’s

signings of Argentina internationals Carlos Tevez and Javier

Mascherano in 2006.

Third-party ownership is popular with Spanish and Portuguese

clubs to recruit South American players such as Colombia forward

Radamel Falcao, who was signed by FC Porto and is now with Atletico

Madrid.

FIFA has said it will submit a proposal within months to its

football committee, which is chaired by UEFA President Michel

Platini.

Infantino said any prohibition would likely be phased in over

three or four years ”to enable clubs to cope.”

A new Champions League-style competition for under-19 teams has

been called the UEFA Youth League. UEFA said the trophy will be

named in honor of Platini’s predecessor Lennart Johansson of

Sweden.

UEFA plans to start a two-year trial next season for a

competition featuring youth teams from the 32 clubs which reach the

Champions League group phase.

The UEFA project is a response to the English-run, privately

owned NextGen Series for under-19 teams which launched in 2011. It

includes 24 clubs from 12 countries this season, including

Barcelona, Inter Milan and six English clubs.

UEFA chose the Kazakhstan capital city Astana to host its

congress of member nations in 2014, and Vienna the following year.

The 2013 UEFA Congress is scheduled for May 24 in London ahead of

the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium.