- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) - A FIFA ban on third parties owning player transfer rights will take effect in May, though existing contracts will be allowed to expire without penalty.

FIFA announced the deadline Friday, ending a long campaign by UEFA to outlaw investors profiting from transfer fees.

Third-party ownership (TPO) is popular with agents and clubs in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. They say it lets clubs sign players who would otherwise be unaffordable.

Critics, including the players’ union FIFPro, say TPO encourages players to be transferred for profit-taking instead of football reasons, and threatens the game’s integrity.

It was banned in England following controversy over Carlos Tevez signing for West Ham in 2006.

In a further concession, FIFA says new agreements before the end of April will be allowed one year to expire.

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