ZURICH:  FIFPro, the world players’ union is to scrap its European Commission challenge to the football transfer system after reaching a wide-ranging agreement with governing body FIFA.

In a joint statement on Monday, the two organisations said FIFA had agreed to set up a task force to look at sweeping changes to the transfer regulations in the long term and, in the short term, to make it easier for players to leave their clubs if they are not paid on time.

The system has been under scrutiny by FIFPro since long before Brazilian superstar Neymar’s record-breaking €222m move from Barcelona to Paris St Germain earlier this year.

FIFPro president Philippe Piat said the agreement would “set in motion the biggest changes to football transfer rules since 2001.”

He added: “While clubs in the richest leagues invariably treat players well, there are other leagues in which the employment rights of players are routinely ignored.”

Other issues under investigation are likely to feature which limiting transfer fees and increasing competitive balance as well as the role of agents, transfer windows, the loan system and squad sizes.

The statement said the “health and safety” of the players would be addressed, particularly regarding the international calendar.

FIFPro lodged its legal complaint at the European Commission in 2015, saying the transfer system was anti-competitive, unjustified and illegal.

One immediate changes to the rules will allow players to leave their clubs if they have not been paid for two months or if they are subject to abusive behaviour, such as being forced to train alone.

FIFPro says that until now, clubs have been able to drag the process out for up to two years by taking the case to FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the agreement was “an important milestone in the improvement of the global governance of professional football.”

He added: “These were complicated negotiations with the game’s key stakeholders and each one has made some compromises but… this agreement is beneficial for all and the ultimate winner is football.”