The international soccer players’ union and the organisation that speaks for domestic leagues throughout the world have joined forces to increase their influence in discussions regarding off-field politics, such as the schedule of international matches.
Soccer leagues and players’ union sign agreement at UN labour agency
In a new labour agreement that was signed on Monday at the International Labor Organization of the UN, the FIFPRO union and World Leagues Forum promised to “stabilise the professional football climate by reinforcing employer and employee representatives on a global level and encourage fair working conditions in football.”
The decision was made after years of failed competition plans and tournament expansions left many soccer authorities feeling marginalised and active players complaining that their voices were disregarded.
The European Super League, biennial International Tournaments, a $25 billion revamp of FIFA contests, adding more teams as well as co-hosts to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and a new proposal for the Champions League in 2019 which would have tied in the some affluent clubs to assured entries are a few of the ended in failure initiatives that have divided the soccer world. The status of those committees has deteriorated, but FIFPRO and the domestic leagues still maintain seats on the stakeholder committee of FIFA and the strategy council of UEFA.
According to a statement from the 66-nation FIFPRO union, the goal of the new alliance is to “actively promote equal representation in international decision-making.” According to the ILO, it may be contacted for help on how to carry out the agreement.
An executive council, operating under the auspices of a “Global Labor Agreement,” is scheduled to convene in the coming weeks to talk about a variety of topics, including the FIFA-controlled schedule for national team matches. In a schedule of domestic and international competitions that is becoming more and more crowded, the FIFA calendar dictates when clubs must release players to their national teams.
The current calendar is set to expire in 2024, but last year’s campaign by FIFA president Gianni Infantino to treble the number of World Cups complicated discussions on whether it should be extended. Arsene Wenger, a legendary coach from France, contributed to FIFA’s initiative to reorganise soccer for its 211 national members and prioritise tournament play over qualification matches.
Men’s and women’s soccer employee rights, treating concussion and head injuries, combating racism, prejudice, and harassment both on and off the field, among other topics, according to the Geneva-based ILO, are additional concerns for the new labour council to handle.