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FIFPro will be organising the FIFPro Eastern Europe Conference on Friday July 8 and Saturday July 9 in Thessaloniki, Greece. The reason for this meeting is the worldwide football union’s determination to protect professional football players from the many abuses prevalent in Eastern European football.

 

There are many abuses, as has been recently been shown again. Countless players in Eastern Europe are waiting in vain for their salary. Other players are confronted with hostile, racist and violent supporters and even with violent club owners. In recent weeks, enormous match-fixing scandals have been exposed in Greece and Turkey. FIFPro and the Eastern European players’ union have to deal daily with the many offshoots of this.

 

FIFPro Division Europe has already created a Task Force Group Eastern Europe in order to protect professional footballers against abuse such as non-payment, violence, racism and corruption. The next step is this Eastern Europe Conference.

 

Representatives of the current East European members of FIFPro will attend this meeting, together with representatives of players’ unions that will be joining the FIFPro family in the near future.

 

In addition, various football players will be present to talk of their experiences with violence, match-fixing and non-payment.

 

With this Eastern Europe Conference, FIFPro not only wants to encourage an on-going discussion of the many problems in Eastern Europe, but also to do something tangible about them. ‘FIFPro assumes its responsibility’, says Philippe Piat, president of FIFPro Division Europe and chair of the Task Force Group Eastern Europe.