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FIFA in deal to end FIFPro transfer complaint

Zurich (AFP) – FIFA on Thursday reached a deal it hopes will lead to footballers union FIFPro withdrawing its complaint to the European Commission over “transfer market madness”.

World football’s governing body FIFA plans to launch an investigation into transfers after this summer’s record-breaking window sparked renewed unease at FIFPro.

Neymar’s staggering world record 222 million euros move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain was described by the union as “the latest example of how football is ever more the domain of a select group of rich, mostly European-based clubs”.

FIFA’s vice-president Victor Montagliani said they had reached a three-party agreement “on the narrow issues” with the World Leagues Forum, FIFPro and the European Club Association.

“We’re looking at broader issues as relates to the transfer system and we’re looking at setting up a sub committee,” the Canadian added.

Thursday’s agreement must be ratified by FIFA at a meeting in Kolkata next week before FIFPro withdraws its action.

FIFPro lodged its complaint against FIFA with the European Commission in September, 2015, challenging the current transfer system as “anti-competitive, unjustified and illegal”.

The players’ union asked the EC to consider the argument that transfer regulations “prevent clubs from fairly competing on the market” which in turn is “harming the interest of players, small and medium sized professional teams”.

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