Players’ union, football leagues sign deal at UN
The global soccer players' union and the group representing domestic leagues around the world have teamed up to strengthen their voice in negotiations involving off-field politics such as the international match calendar.
The International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPRO) union and World Leagues Forum signed a new labour agreement at the United Nations' International Labour Organisation (ILO) yesterday that they said will "stabilise the professional football environment by strengthening employer and employee representatives on a worldwide level and promoting fair conditions of employment in football".
The ILO said it was "the first global agreement on working conditions and rights of professional football players".
The move comes after years of tournament expansions, where failed proposals for new competitions left many football officials feeling sidelined and active players saying their opinions were ignored.
Some of the failed proposals that have divided the football world include the European Super League, biennial World Cups, a $25-billion overhaul of FIFA competitions, adding more teams and co-hosts to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and a Champions League reform plan in 2019 that would have locked in some wealthy clubs to guaranteed entries.
FIFPRO and the domestic leagues have seats on FIFA's stakeholder committee and UEFA's strategy council, but the status of those panels has declined.
The new partnership aims to "actively pursue equitable representation in international decision-making," the 66-nation FIFPRO union said in a statement.
The ILO said it could be called upon to provide expert advice on how to implement the agreement.