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Parliamentary questions
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3 June 2019
Answer given by Mr Navracsics on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-001734/2019

The Commission agrees that football is part of cultural heritage and has strong social and educational impacts, as it is the most popular team sport in Europe. The Commission acknowledges the substantial input of the Takkula report of 2016, which is a precious tool in the reflection on the future of sport in the EU, in particular regarding transfer-related issues.

In accordance with the Treaties, the Commission has limited rights to intervene in matters which concern the sport movement and its governing bodies. The Commission acknowledges the autonomy of sport governing structures as a fundamental principle relating to the organisation of sport.

This autonomy entails the right for sport governing bodies to establish their own rules in full respect of EC law. The Commission encourages dialogue with sport organisations and stakeholders in order to adopt a new system taking into account the rights and interests of all stakeholders, including players and respecting EC law.

In this context, the Commission welcomes the current reflections on the necessary improvement of the transfer system in football. The Commission takes note with satisfaction of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA)’s expressed willpower to update the current system in line with the principles outlined in the 2001 agreement.

The Commission already had contacts with FIFA representatives to discuss the review of the transfer system in general terms. All dimensions of transfers-related rules — players’ agents, money laundering, integrity and rights of athletes as well as countering excesses — will have to be fully compatible with EC law.

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