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FIFPro Division Europe, UNI Europa and ETUC have today in Brussels entered into an agreement to defend the fundamental democratic and social rights of professional football players and other professional sportspeople. The agreement constitutes a strong platform for FIFPro to work within the EU.


FIFPro, UNI Europa and the ETUC have entered into an agreement to defend the rights of professional football players in the EU, including the freedom of association, the freedom of movement, the freedom to choose a function or a job, insurance against the risks involved in the practice of competitive sports as well as education and training.


The cooperation also deals with the specific social problems of professional football players, who can only practice their profession during a short period of time.


The cooperation constitutes a strong European platform for FIFPro and yields a number of advantages including:

  • Expertise in areas such as Social Dialogue, European labour law and European Politics
  • Advocacy within European institutions and other relevant organisations such as the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Council and the Council of Europe
  • Joint projects including the promotion of Social Dialogue, capacity building and increasing the knowledge base on labour issues


Theo van Seggelen, General Secretary of FIFPro, states: 'FIFPro puts a lot of emphasis on EU legislation and the agreement with ETUC and UNI Europa ensures us strong partners and a solid platform in the fight for the rights of our members. The EU is of great importance for football, which is why the cooperation is of great significance for footballers in Europe but also for players in the rest of the world.'


Bernadette Ségol, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa, adds: 'We are very pleased with the agreement with FIFPro and the football players. We are looking forward to assisting FIFPro in the same way that we assist EU Athletes.'


John Monks, General Secretary of ETUC, adds his comments: 'ETUC is thrilled to welcome UNI Europa into the cooperation between us and FIFPro. We are looking forward to the cooperation and to creating a strong joint platform that enables us to defend the basic rights of football players and other professional sportspeople.'


European Professional Sportspeoples’ Forum
The new agreement also includes cooperation to run the European Professional Sportspeoples’ Forum. The first forum will be held in Brussels 31 January 2011. The parties will cooperate in organizing this annual forum for all national and international unions for professional sportspeople in Europe. The forum will become an important event for sportspeople in Europe with the participation of all important unions. The European Professional Sportspeoples’ Forum will express joint statements on EU issues of importance to professional sportspeople.


FIFPro office in Brussels
FIFPro will be opening a new office within the facilities of UNI Europa in the spring of 2011 in Brussels, which will be the pivotal point of the new cooperation.


Left to right: Walter Palmer (EU Athletes), Bernadette Ségol, John Monks and Theo van Seggelen 




FIFPro is the worldwide representative organization for all professional players; more than 50,000 footballers in total. FIFPro has existed since 1965 and currently has 43 members, 8 candidate members and 5 observers.


FIFPro Division Europe is the European Division of FIFPro with 24 members.


UNI Europa
UNI Europa is a European trade union federation. It unites trade unions organising in services and skills sectors in 50 different countries. With over 320 affiliated trade union organisations, UNI Europa represents 7 million workers.


The ETUC – The European Trade Union Confederation
The ETUC was set up in 1973 to promote the interests of working people at European level and to represent them in the EU institutions. The ETUC is one of the European social partners and is recognised by the European Union, by the Council of Europe and by EFTA as the only representative cross-sectoral trade union organisation at European level.


EU Athletes
The European Elite Athletes Association is a federation of independent athletes associations from all over Europe with member associations from 15 European countries representing over 25,000 professional athletes.