FIFPRO took note with surprise of today’s decisions by the FIFA Council concerning the international match calendars for men’s and women’s football that could have serious consequences for and aggravate pressure on the welfare and employment of players.
Despite an understanding FIFPRO reached with FIFA last week that a joint negotiation of the international match calendar would take place before the FIFA Congress in March 2023, these decisions were taken unilaterally without seriously consulting, let alone agreeing, with the players.
The announcements today of a new format for the Club World Cup as of 2025, new principles for the the Men’s and Women’s IMC post-2024 and 2023 respectively, including the “rolling over” of the current women’s IMC into 2024/25 which will cause severe congestion during the Olympic competition year, have created new conditions, that further increase pressure on player workload and their job.
Once again, decisions to scale competitions without implementing appropriate safeguards are short-sited and pay no attention to players’ health and performance.
This decision once more shows that key stakeholders of the game are not being appropriately involved in decision making of football, even when it concerns the core of their fundamental rights.
We expect that FIFA honours the recently agreed negotiation commitment and respects that despite these announcements today, player safeguards and employment security are strengthened not weakened in the to be agreed match calendars.
FIFPRO also recently opened negotiations with the World League Forum on the alignment of the match calendar with mandatory health protections for players under our joint Global Labour Agreement. Employer and employee agreed standards, which already exist in many domestic collective employment agreements, need to be protected and may not be infringed by unilateral expansion of competitions.