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FIFPro urgently requests all sports ministers in the European Union to defend  the rights of more than 25 thousand professional footballers in Europe. For this reason FIFPro sent an open letter to all 22 ministers, in the name of these thousands of footballers.

 

FIFPro asks for clarity of the European ministers as a result of the recent ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. After the ratification organizations like IOC, FIFA and UEFA have indicated that article 165 of this Treaty could be the start of a far-reaching autonomy of sport within Europe. If this intended autonomy were permitted it would have far-reaching consequences.

 

Their interpretation of article 165 has already led to an impasse in the Social Dialogue, the dialogue between employers and employees in sports. Despite the efforts of FIFPro, there is no longer any constructive dialogue. Apparently the sports bodies are more interested in consultations with organizations such as the governments in order to return to the point of view which was abandoned with the Bosman ruling.  

 

That promises no good at all, is the warning of FIFPro to all ministers. Based on current experiences FIFPro fears that sportspersons as employees will be the first victims of assigning an exceptional position to sport. Besides, FIFPro is not only thinking about the consequences for footballers. If professional sport is placed in an exceptional position, this opens the way to other sectors of industry to demand, based on their specificities, a treatment that falls outside the scope of European legislation. In the end, this can endanger the unity of the European Union.

 

Therefore FIFPro, in the interest of the more than 25 thousand professional footballers, urgently requests all ministers to keep professional sport completely within the framework of European law, so that the European Social Dialogue, which has just begun, can be continued.

 

To read the complete letter, please click here.