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FIFPro’s Technical Committee held its twice-yearly meeting in Madrid with former Real Madrid star Emilio Butragueño in its ranks for the first time. Clear standpoints were formulated on numerous important technical matters.


Emilio Butragueño, director of institutional affairs at Real Madrid since the summer of 2009, began by raising the question of his position on the FIFPro Committee. ‘When I was asked to sit on FIFA’s Technical and Development Committee on behalf of FIFPro, I was not then working for Real Madrid. This situation has now changed.’


As a club representative and member of the ECA, amongst other organisations, Butragueño wondered out loud whether he would be able to represent the players in FIFA’s and FIFPro’s Technical Committee.


However, in asking the question Butragueño himself came up with a positive answer: ‘I still feel like a player and this committee discusses technical matters which are purely to do with the game. It is not a problem for Real Madrid or the ECA and I don’t believe that this will bring me into any conflict. However, FIFPro must also feel comfortable with it.’



FIFPro’s secretary of the Technical Committee Tijs Tummers saw no objections. ‘Of course, we have already discussed the matter internally at FIFPro. Butragueño previously worked at Real but has never lost sight of the sporting interests of the players and he has also stood by the Spanish players’ union AFE following his playing career. We are convinced that with his experience and reputation, Butragueño will be able to be an excellent representative of the players in relation to the game itself.’


The subsequent meeting in Madrid immediately provided evidence of this. Butragueño made clear and valuable contributions to the discussion of numerous subjects, including goal-line technology, artificial pitches, the international match calendar and the rules for the Champions and Europe League.


The other ex-professionals on the committee, Gernot Zirngast (Austria), Simon Barker (Engeland) and Vladimir Leonchenko (Russia) were delighted with Butragueño’s active participation in the discussion. Another big name from international football, Iván Zamorano (Chile), was unable to attend this meeting. His contribution will be looked out for in a subsequent meeting.


The issues discussed in Madrid and the FIFPro standpoints which were formulated will be addressed in separate contributions on this website in the coming days.


From left to right: Emilio Butragueño, Simon Barker, Vladimir Leonchenko, Gernot Zirngast, Tijs Tummers and Jesus Diaz Peramos