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FIFPro President Philippe Piat and Secretary General Theo van Seggelen met with EU Commissioner for Sport, Tibor Navracsics, in Brussels to discuss some of the most important football and EU sport policy matters at present times.

At the core of discussions – this Thursday April 23 - were FIFPro's severe concerns regarding the football transfer system, third party ownership and respect for the players' basic workers' rights.

 

Further, FIFPro highlighted the importance of the players' right to collectively organise and bargain agreements as the most significant tool to strengthen democratic decision making in football governance.

Piat and Van Seggelen - accompanied by FIFPro Division Europe Director of Policy, Jonas Baer-Hoffmann - underlined the crucial times in the evolution of professional football in Europe and that, almost 20 years removed from the famous Bosman ruling, the challenge of restoring fair and effective labour and transfer market governance still has to be overcome.

As guardian of the EU treaties, the Commission remains in a critical role to ensure football, and professional sport in general, operates in line with EU labour and competition law, as well as fundamental freedoms of the internal market.

In this context FIFPro also informed Commissioner Navracsics in detail about the unacceptably high prevalence of overdue payables to players and the importance and concerns of many domestic player unions in securing basic labour rights, as enshrined in the Autonomous Agreement on Minimum Requirements for Standard Player Contracts and the acquis communautaire.

FIFPro President Piat recapitulated: "Our meeting with Commissioner Navracsics provided an important opportunity to highlight some of the most pressing concerns of professional players across the EU, the European continent and effectively around the world. The EU and its acquis communautaire remain critical for the protection of athletes' rights and I feel confident in the Commissioner's sincere interest in safeguarding the fundamental freedoms of our members and the sustainability and viability of professional football in Europe."

FIFPro ensured the Commissioner of its full support for the further development of an increasingly comprehensive EU sport policy and its commitment to support the Commission in its flagship campaign to increase physical activity among EU citizens – the European Week of Sport.

FIFPro Secretary General Van Seggelen noted: "FIFPro remains committed to a significant reform of the football industry, in which football players are no longer considered as tradable assets of clubs, exploited by agents, third party owners or other third parties. We will do whatever is required to bring about the long overdue change and we are confident that today we took another important step in this struggle."

 

FIFPro CommEU 1 640Theo van Seggelen, Philippe Piat, Tibor Navracsics and Jonas Baer-Hoffmann