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FIFPro Asia/Oceania, the regional division of the world footballers’ association, has resolved to change its constitution to ensure its board includes a minimum of two women.

Next to that FIFPro Asia has opened membership directly to players in Asian countries where a national player association does not exist.

Under the new FIFPro Asia rules, the current five member board will be expanded to seven with the appointment of two women.

FIFPro Asia General Secretary Frederique Winia will chair a nominations committee to ensure the two vacancies are filled in early 2016 by the Board.

Outgoing FIFPro Vice President and FIFPro Asia Chairman Brendan Schwab said at FIFPro’s 50th anniversary in Amsterdam: “Japan’s status as a former world champion and the solidarity of the Australian Matildas in recent collective bargaining negotiations inspired FIFPro Asia to take the important step of ensuring the fair representation and involvement of women in the leadership of FIFPro.

“FIFPro Asia’s enriched culture and leadership will also help advance the pay and conditions of women professional footballers in Asia, and encourage them to become organised by signing up to FIFPro’s women’s football membership or national player associations.”

Former Swedish international goalkeeper Caroline Jönsson, the head of FIFPro’s women’s committee, congratulated FIFPro Asia on its initiative. “I am delighted with the decision taken by FIFPro Asia,” Jönsson said.

“Gender equity can only be achieved in sport if women are instrumentally involved in the governance of the player associations. The enhanced diversity of FIFPro Asia’s board will improve decision-making, and sets the right example for football as a whole. Football’s ongoing governance crisis will only be resolved if women have an elevated role in all parts of the game.”

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Division Asia

Direct membership

In another important development, FIFPro Asia has opened membership directly to players in Asian countries where a national player association does not exist.

The newly elected Division Asia Chairman Adam Vivian, the Chief Executive of Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), said: “The unfortunate reality in much of Asia is that the rights of players are not respected, with there being the widespread non-payment of wages, unjust contract terminations, harassment and health and safety concerns. This is coupled with a hostility by many football administrators to the development and organisation of independent player associations. By being able to directly join FIFPro Asia, players in these circumstances will be protected and able to receive vital assistance and support.”

Adam Vivian in FIFPro Board

Adam Vivian succeeds Brendan Schwab following his appointment as the Head of UNI World Athletes, the Swiss based global athletes’ union across professional sport.

Vivian said: “I thank the board of FIFPro Asia for its unanimous support for my appointment. The PFA is pleased to reiterate its long standing commitment to the development of FIFPro Asia, especially the strengthening of its member associations and the voice of professional footballers in our region."

“FIFPro Asia has the responsibility to continue to actively shape the future of Asian football and promote the professionalism of the region’s footballers, whilst contributing to the good governance, development and the international competitiveness of football in Asia and Oceania.”

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