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FIFA withdraws transfer market ban for use of TPI

FIFA has lifted the transfer ban imposed on Belgian club FC Seraing for it's use of Third-part Investment (TPI).

Belgian club FC Seraing, who had been subject to a ban on signing new players for four transfer windows, as well as a CHF150,000 fine, had contested the decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in Switzerland.

FIFA lifted the transfer ban without having been requested to do so by the CAS, in a sign that TPI may once again be used as a tool to help smaller clubs on the transfer market. TPI allows clubs to remain competitive against richer clubs with huge revenues from sources such as broadcast rights or sponsorship deals, by helping them sign players that improve their squads.

The ban has been lifted until the CAS gives its final verdict on the FC Seraing case, which is expected during the summer. The same court, considered by FIFA to be the "supreme court of sport", had previously decided in favour of Doyen Sports in the Marcos Rojo case against Portuguese club Sporting, also on the subject of TPI.

In it's decision, issued in December 2015, the CAS rejected all claims by Sporting Clube de Portugal. These included allegations of third-party influence on the club's transfer policy and the lack of freedom of the player to decide his own future.

Doyen Sports welcomes this decision by FIFA. We believe that in a regulated environment, TPI can be a sustainable way to improve clubs' finances and sporting performance, as well as a way to level the playing field. Our model, which preserves the independance of clubs and players, has been instrumental for recent success cases such as Atletico Madrid or FC Sevilla. These clubs regularly challenge Europe's richest clubs for some of the top honours in European football.