FIFPRO Division Asia/Oceania is increasing its efforts to be a more influential power in the region’s football industry.
For the first time in nearly three years, the player associations of FIFPRO Asia/Oceania gathered together for their annual general assembly, which was hosted by PFA Thailand, one of a handful of player organisations who are aspiring to join the world player union’s membership in the coming years.
“We’ve had a very good meeting”, said Frederique Winia, the general secretary of FIFPRO Asia/Oceania, after the three-day meeting in Bangkok. “We’ve learned that more players – men and women - are joining our associations, and we have several new organisations aspiring to become a member of FIFPRO. Now it is time to translate that into more power and influence on these football crazy continents, where we want to invite both the AFC and the OFC to sit down with us and discuss how we can together advance football.”
In total, representatives of 14 player associations attended the assembly - Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Qatar, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Jordan, New Zealand, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq and Singapore -, with the latter five having to join online due to covid-19 restrictions.
Highlight of the meeting was a workshop about developing a new strategy for the upcoming years, aimed at developing more influence in football in Asia and Oceania, and thus improving the support for professional football players – men and women – on these continents.
Furthermore, FIFPRO staff provided updates about among others legal matters, FIFPRO’s cooperation with the World Leagues Forum, media and communications, the status of women’s football in Asia and Oceania, and membership matters. One of the key takeaways was that almost all associations now enable women players to become a member, resulting in a steep increase in women membership, while a majority of associations have active women players on their executive committees.
FIFPRO president David Aganzo, together with general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann and deputy general secretaries Simon Colosimo and Stéphane Burchkalter, informed the player associations about FIFPRO’s global strategy, and reflected on the first board meetings under his leadership.
“As discussed during the FIFPRO general assembly in Paris, last November, both Jonas and I committed ourselves to visiting all our divisions worldwide, because we want to know firsthand what the status of each country’s player association is, and what the situation in each division is,” president Aganzo said Friday, looking back at the general assembly.
“It has been a real pleasure, and I say it in capital letters, to be here, to be able to see our colleagues in Asia, where they really work in a very good way. Hopefully, we can find solutions to the different problems they are experiencing.”