“It’s an enormous step for someone who has been abused to make that first step and so it’s important to create a culture that is welcoming for players to report what can be extremely traumatic”— de Kat Craig, FIFPRO advisor
During the workshops, player unions discussed their experiences. Sharing knowledge and building a network of experts is the best way to help unions handle reporting of abuse and minimize distress for players, Craig said.
Player union representatives who attended the workshops expressed their commitment to continue developing the best possible procedures.
“There was a lot of enthusiasm to continue engaging on this issue and a desire to learn from each other," said Craig, who has experience in gymnastics, boxing and karate among other sports.
Carlos Figueroa, president of the Guatemalan football player union, which recently began representing women footballers, said he found the workshop extremely helpful.
“Sexual abuse, and other types of abuse, are unfortunately common in football and we have to be ready to give our players the best possible advice,” he said.