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A FIFPro delegation, led by Division Europe President Bobby Barnes, travelled to Duisburg, Wednesday (February 28), to develop the basis for a potential cooperation between the World Footballers' Union and Germany's professional footballers' association VDV.

Barnes was accompanied by FIFPro Division Europe board member and President of PFA Scotland, Tony Higgins, the Chairman of Austrian union VdF, Gernot Zirngast, and FIFPro Division Europe Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Jonas Baer-Hoffmann.

The VDV was represented by their directors Lars Kindgen, Ulf Baranowsky and Dr Frank Rybak.

Barnes, who also serves as Deputy Chief Executive of England's Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), said the discussion illustrated a desire to work on common objectives in the interests of protecting the fundamental rights of professional footballers.

Among the issues covered, how to assist players who have no contract, social security, training alone, discrimination, match-fixing, doping, career coaching and a player's right to obtain medical advice independent from his club.

The meeting also highlighted the value of ongoing support for the FIFPro World XI project, in which the VDV assisted in obtaining almost 750 player votes in 2013. It was landmark year for German football as the Bayern Munich trio of Manuel Neuer, Phillip Lahm and Franck Ribéry became the first Bundesliga-based players ever to be selected by their peers in the FIFPro World XI.

Afterwards, the FIFPro delegation was invited to nearby Gelsenkirchen to witness the European Champions League clash between Schalke 04 and Real Madrid.


Frank Rybak, Lars Kindgen, Ulf Baranowsky, Gernot Zirngast, Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, Tony Higgins and Bobby Barnes