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FIFA third-party ownership ban goes into effect May 1

An intention to ban third-party ownership had already been announced, but FIFA now has a date set.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

FIFA announced their intention to ban third-party ownership of players back in September, and they've finally set a date on the ban. As part of the Executive Committee meeting about the Garcia Report, Qatar World Cup and other subjects, FIFA announced third-party ownership will be banned as of May 1.

In their release, FIFA stated that existing agreements will still be honored until they expire. New agreements can be signed between now and May 1, but they can only be for a maximum of one year. After May 1, no new third-party ownership agreements can be signed, and the practice should be effectively eradicated a few years afterwards.

Brazil is the country most affected by these new rules. Often, third-party investment is the only means by which teams can afford to keep their best players beyond their teenage years. Without this practice, it would have been impossible for Santos FC to keep Neymar at the club as long as they did.

But other countries will be impacted by this change as well. It's common in other parts of South America and Portugal, while approximately 7 percent of La Liga players are co-owned by third parties. Atlético Madrid are the biggest team that have commonly used the practice to obtain and retain some of their best players. Radamel Falcao was co-owned by third parties, and the practice has allowed them to keep superstar Koke at the club on competitive wages.

Third-party ownership has been outlawed in England and France for quite some time. When a team in those countries purchases a player who is owned by a third party, they have to buy the entirety of the player's economic rights, from all holders. This has caused transfer snags, most notably for Tottenham Hotspur, who have failed to buy top targets Joao Moutinho and Mateo Musacchio because of third-party ownership complications.