This decision leaves players and their unions with many concerns and questions about its impact not only on the fabric and cultural identity of football but also more practically on their careers. Football is built on its unique social and cultural heritage, which not only gives it an unparalleled relationship to its fans but also has created the engine to spread the professional game like no other sport. For this to be sustained, a healthy and solidarity-based cooperation between domestic and international competitions is critical. A new competition undermining this might cause irreparable damage.
It is important to note that European football’s arrival at this point of potential disruption is a reflection of a governance in which some have enjoyed disproportionate powers and most others including those at the heart of the game – the players but also fans – are largely overlooked.
Threats of a breakaway competition and subsequent concessions to reform European football competitions have shaped decision-making for years. This dynamic has replaced transparent and inclusive discussions on the opportunities of competition reforms for all players, fans, clubs, leagues and federations.
Players continue to be used as assets and leverage in these negotiations. This is unacceptable for FIFPRO, our 64 national player associations and the 60,000 players we represent. We will vigorously oppose measures by either side that would impede the rights of players, such as exclusion from their national teams.
In the best interests of players, and the whole industry, we are committed to working with all stakeholders towards decisions that support all levels of the game and repair its existing flaws.