Football

FC Twente first high profile victims of new FIFA rule

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FC Twente have been banned from all European competitions for three years starting immediately.

The ban has been handed down by the Dutch Football Association as punishment for deliberately misleading them in regards to a deal the club had to sell player transfer rights to an outside investor.

FIFA banned third-party player ownership in April 2015 as they claimed it threatened the integrity of the game because investors could inflate transfer fees to make themselves a profit.

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These deals were thrust into the spotlight in 2013 when Barcelona brought Neymar from Santos, it turned out that the player owned about 10 percent of himself through his own promotional company, whilst his father also controlled a large chunk of his son's rights as well.

Various companies also had stakes in Neymar whilst Santos had only retained a fraction, so when Barcelona paid a €57.1 million transfer fee to acquire the player this total had to be divvied up in all kinds of ways.

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Speculation is that this was done for various parties to save money on taxes and such and not to make money, but various people have different ideas. This embarrassing ordeal forced the then-Barcelona president Sandro Rosell to resign and demanded a FIFA investigation into the legality of these deals - resulting in the ban we now have on third-party player ownership.

The Dutch FA say the punishment, including a £34,000 fine, follows Twente's failure to reveal full details of a third-party ownership contract with Malta-based Doyen Sports Investments. They could also lose their professional licence if they fail to fully cooperate with an independent investigation into the club's structure,

FC Twente says it will not appeal the ban, but the sanctions would "hit hard at the heart of our club".

This is the first major ban that has occurred since the rule changed this year, but it certainly won't be the last, with various clubs worldwide employing similar procedures.

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Football

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