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FIFPro and the Swiss Association of Football Players (SAFP) regard FIFA’s threat to suspend the Swiss Football Association (SFV) as unacceptable and absolutely disproportionate.


SAFP President Lucien W. Valloni says, ‘As President of the professional players’ association, I am bound to say that the interests of the players of FC Basel and the national team are now also being affected by FIFA’s latest “directives” to the SFV regarding the matter of FC Sion.’


‘In the view of the players’ union, FIFA’s threat to bar the SFV - and thereby the national team, as well as all club teams - at international level, is disproportionate and unacceptable. It must surely suffice for FIFA to penalize directly the club that has actually stepped out of line.’


Valloni: ‘Going beyond that to punish other teams as well is absolutely unnecessary and disproportionate. Such a penalty doesn’t even make any sense, because neither the national team players nor those in FC Basel are guilty of anything, nor can they exert influence of any kind on the behaviour of FC Sion, the SFV or the League and its decision-making bodies.’


‘In this matter, the players’ union will again make every effort to ensure that the players’ interests continue to be protected. We cannot allow power games between different bodies to be fought out at the expense of the players.’


FIFPro fully agrees with SAFP president Valloni, says Theo van Seggelen, secretary general of FIFPro. ‘FC Sion has been condemned by the FIFA DRC and FIFPro respects this decision, because Sion hired players whilst the club knew that these players would not be eligible to play.’


But, continues Van Seggelen, ‘We do not agree with the consequence that players of FC Basel, a totally different club, or national team players become the victims of the actions of FC Sion.’