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Following the latest FIFA Task Force meeting which analysed proposed dates around when to stage the 2022 World Cup, FIFPro has released the following statement:

FIFPro is convinced that a switch to the winter months is the only viable solution to protect the health and safety of the players who will be competing at the 2022 World Cup.

However, a move away from climatic conditions that would put the players at risk should not be assessed in isolation. FIFPro remains of the option that there are of several unresolved challenges going forward.

Any discussion about the proposed reduction in World Cup competition days is a matter that involves the players. Changes to the match schedule that could potentially place extra strain on the workload of the players is for FIFPro to analyse together with all stakeholders in due course.

Abolishing the kafala system is a human rights issue that needs to be addressed as it affects all workers, including the professional footballers who ply their trade in Qatar.

FIFPro is committed to engaging the football community on a raft of issues, including the establishment of international (FIFA) standards within the Qatari professional league. That means the application of minimum contractual requirements and dispute resolution, without limiting the application of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber.

As part of this ongoing discussion with FIFA and Qatari authorities, FIFPro believes the creation of an independent players’ association in Qatar is critical to ensure players have the right to collectively organise.

FIFPro General-Secretary Theo van Seggelen said, “Removing players from the danger zone of playing in a Qatari summer is only the first, very important step.”

“FIFPro has tabled its concerns as the conditions in Qatar go way beyond heat. It’s a human rights matter more than anything else.”

“Kafala does not protect the rights of the players in Qatar. Similarly, the players should have the right to unionise, access to fair contractual standards, and dispute resolution mechanisms that align with the international football community.”