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FIFPro welcomed four new members to its family during the general assembly in Washington: the professional footballers associations of Croatia, the Czech Republic, Montenegro and Ukraine. Today a portrait of the Ukrainian players’ union.

 

The All-Ukrainian Association of Professional Football Players (APFU) is led by president Igor Gataullin and executive secretary Valentyn Skvortsov. Both signed the FIFPro membership in Washington DC.

 

‘The news that the APFU became a full member of FIFPro was enthusiastically embraced by all football structures in Ukraine’, says president Gataullin. ‘We were congratulated by the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU), the Premier League, and the Professional Football League.’

 

‘Being a full member of FIFPro is not only a great honour, this new status also gives our association a possibility to protect players’ rights more actively and successfully.’ 

 

In 2010, the APFU was granted the status of FIFPro candidate member. Since then, the players association developed dynamically. From 2011 to 2012, membership increased from 213 players to 507, including the men's and women's Ukrainian national football teams. Gataullin says ‘Our national teams fully support the Association and these players carry over its main ideas into their clubs too.’

 

One of the biggest achievements of the APFU, was the signing of the branch agreement with the Ukrainian FA, the clubs in the Premier League, the clubs in the Football League, and the trade union ‘Football of Ukraine’. The agreement will run from 2011 until 2015. ‘It is the basis for drawing up and signing collective agreements.’

 

‘The Agreement shall guide coordinated forces in terms of providing economic growth, accelerating developments within Ukrainian football and performing top-priority tasks in social, economic and labour spheres, namely providing rights and guaranties for football players and other professional football employees.’

 

Gataullin: ‘The APFU and the trade union “Football of Ukraine” initiated changes to the Regulations of the Ukrainian football competitions, which imply that the clubs have to conclude collective agreements in order to participate in competitions in Ukraine.’

 

The APFU is developing anti-corruption legislation together with the FA and the football league in order to tackle match fixing and corruption problems.

 

Regarding to the requirements of FIFA Circulars 1010, 1129 and recommendations of FIFPro, the APFU and “Football of Ukraine” initiated the foundation of the national Dispute Resolution Chamber and concluded a Memorandum with the Ukrainian FA and the leagues. The NDRC was established on September 3, 2012. It consists of 12 representatives: the Head of DRC, its Deputy, 5 union representatives and 5 club representatives. APFU Executive Secretary Valentyn Skvortsov was elected Head of DRC. The 5 APFU representatives are:

  • Yuriy Yurchenko - Head of Legal Department of APFU;
  • Viktor Kryzhanivskiy - Deputy Head of the APFU Legal Department;
  • Oleksandr Ilchuk - APFU Administration Manager;
  • Anton Sotyr – the APFU President’s Assistant;
  • Volodymyr Troshkyn - a former player from FC Dynamo Kyiv and the Soviet Union national team, USSR-honoured master of sport.

 

On September 7, the APFU and the FA signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation. Gataullin: ‘Its provisions are similar to those in the MoU signed by UEFA and FIFPro Division Europe on 22 March. Approval of minimum requirements in the standard player contract appeared in the MoU annex.’ 

 

Igor Gataullin and Valentyn Skvortsov