FIFA will ban third-party ownership of players from May 1 next year, ending a system which critics claim breeds corruption but whose advocates insist is a crucial financial lifeline for poorer clubs.

“The ban will come into force on May 1, 2015,” said a FIFA statement following a decision taken by the world body’s executive committee on Friday.

“Existing agreements shall continue to be in place until their contractual expiry. New agreements made between 1 January and 30 April 2015 will be subject to a time limit (one year maximum).”

Critics of third-party ownership have long argued that such arrangements, which players including Brazilian Neymar and Argentina’s Carlos Tevez have been subject to, can lead to conflicts of interest and possible corruption.

Supporters, however, have argued that it often enables poorer clubs to hang on to their best players by generating funds to match the wages of bigger and wealthier rivals. – Agence France-Presse

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