FIFA, the global governing body for soccer, and Fifpro, the international representative body for professional players of the game, have announced major new partnership.
The six-year cooperation will strengthen the ties between the two organisations in a bid to improve the governance of soccer worldwide.
As a consequence, Fifpro will withdraw the complaint it lodged against Fifa with the European Commission in 2015, which was part of a wider attempt to end the current transfer system in world soccer, which Fifpro claimed was ‘tricking’ fans and creating an uneven playing field between teams.
The collaboration will see a task force launched by Fifa’s Football Stakeholders Committee to conduct a study and review of the transfer system, and recommend potential changes.
Furthermore, an accord was reached between Fifa, Fifpro, the European Club Association and the World Leagues Forum to speed up dispute resolution between players and clubs, particularly in the case of salary or contractual issues.
“Today marks an important milestone in the improvement of the global governance of professional football,” said Fifa president Gianni Infantino. “I have witnessed unprecedented cooperation between Fifa, Fifpro, the European Club Association and the World Leagues Forum. These were complicated negotiations with the game’s key stakeholders and each one has made some compromises but at the end of the day, this agreement is beneficial for all and the ultimate winner is football.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the same collaborative approach for the discussions that will start now concerning a broader review of the transfer system. All parties – member associations, confederations, players, clubs and leagues – have an important role to play in this process.”
Fifpro president Philippe Piat, meanwhile, said that the agreement showed a “new spirit of cooperation” from Fifa, and would “set in motion the biggest changes to football transfer rules since 2001”.
Meanwhile the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), the collective representative of European soccer’s leagues, has unanimously approved an agreement on the future of European soccer with Uefa, the sport’s governing body in Europe.
The accord was announced at the EPFL’s recent extraordinary general assembly and centres on a variety of issues that will shape the future of European soccer. These include EPFL representation within Uefa decision-making bodies, future cooperation on current competition structure, formats, principles and match scheduling issues.
This agreement will enter into force once ratified by the two parties. The EPFL represents more than 900 clubs in 32 professional soccer leagues across Europe.
“I am delighted that our members have approved this agreement we have reached with Uefa which we both feel will protect and enhance the competitive balance within football,” said Lars-Christer Olsson, chairman of the EPFL.
“This agreement recognizes the fundamental role played by the domestic competitions for the sustainable development of football both at national and international level.”
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