Players’ union and national soccer leagues sign agreement

The World Soccer Players Union and the group representing the national leagues have teamed up to strengthen their voice in negotiations over off-pitch policies, such as the international match schedule.

The FIFPRO union and the World Leagues Forum on Monday signed a new agreement at the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) which they say will « stabilize the professional football environment by strengthening employers’ representatives and employees globally and promoting fair employment conditions in football. »

The ILO has revealed that it is the “first global agreement on the working conditions and rights of professional footballers”.

The move comes after years of tournament expansion and failed proposals for new competitions, which have left many football leaders feeling sidelined and active players saying their opinions were ignored. .

Some of the rejected proposals that have divided the soccer world include the European Super League, biennial World Cups, a US$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.

FIFPRO and the national leagues sit on the FIFA committee and on the UEFA strategy council, but the influence of these panels has diminished.

The aim of the new partnership is to “actively seek equitable representation in international decision-making,” the 66-nation union FIFPRO said in a statement.

The ILO added that it could be called upon to provide expert advice on how to implement the agreement.

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