FIFA’s rules on football agents do not break European Union competition laws, the community’s second highest court has decided.

French resident Laurent Piau challenged FIFA’s rules regulating football agents saying they were excessive, opaque, discriminatory and contravened to EU competition rules.

But the Court of First Instance backed FIFA on the issue.

“The need to introduce professionalism and morality to the occupation of (being a) players’ agent in order to protect players whose careers are short … justify the rule-making action on the part of FIFA,” the Court of First Instance said in a statement.

Piau lodged a complaint with the EU executive Commission in 1998, but this was dropped after FIFA amended its rules.

“The commission … will take account of it in its future application of competition rules to the sport sector,” EU executive competition spokesman Jonathan Todd told a daily briefing.

Under FIFA rules, a footballer’s agent must be licensed and the two parties must sign a contract for a maximum of two years setting out the agent’s fee calculated on the basis of the player’s fee.