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FIFPro wishes to clarify comments made today by its Vice President, Phillipe Piat, who has been misquoted on the issue of a summer World Cup in Qatar.


The World Players Union respects the decision taken by FIFA’s Executive Committee, earlier this month, to place on hold any decision regarding a potential switch from summer to winter.


FIFPro General-Secretary Theo Van Seggelen said, 'There is no reason to organize a boycott. FIFA is looking at the situation and we are working with them to ensure the players’ wishes are respected and that our members receive maximum protection.'


FIFPro’s position is clear, as stated previously. For FIFPro protecting the health and safety of professional footballers is of paramount importance and must drive decision making at all levels of football.


FIFPro is well aware of the particular threat of playing professional football in extreme heat. Medical and scientific experts are clear that playing in such conditions is hazardous and requires sporting organisations to have strong and proactive policies that ensure players are not subjected to any unreasonable risk to their health and safety.


Professional footballers are workers in the eyes of the law. Accordingly, football authorities, including FIFA, the confederations, the clubs and the member associations are legally obliged to provide a safe working environment and cannot subject this obligation to other business considerations.


FIFA has defined precise guidelines in its “Football Medicine Manual” to prevent the occurrence of heat-stress disorders during international competitions. FIFPro regards FIFA’s standards as a minimum and notes that a number of football countries in hot climates have stronger guidelines in order to protect players.


FIFPro strongly advises FIFA and all other football authorities to develop effective and strong heat policies in consultation with medical experts and FIFPro when organizing and scheduling a competition or tournament.


It is vital that each competition be carried out under the most suitable conditions for players to perform at their best without compromising their safety. For FIFPro it is unacceptable to play matches if the health and safety of the professional footballers cannot be guaranteed.


The FIFA World Cup represents the pinnacle of professional football. Players and fans both want and deserve conditions that will enable the very best football to be provided.


The whole issue of the international match calendar is a matter for separate debate. FIFPro looks forward to participating in detailed consultation and deliberation of all stakeholders before any radical change is made.




From FIFA Football Medicine Manual (pages 130-134)
The FIFA has established guidelines to prevent the occurrence of heat-stress disorders during international competitions. According to these guidelines, all decisions with regard to the health and safety of players are based on the ambient temperature (in conjunction with air humidity)as follows:

  • moderate risk for ambient temperature between 25-31.9 °C (77–89.4 °F);
  • high risk for ambient temperature between 32–38 °C (89.6–100 °F);
  • extreme risk for ambient temperature >38 °C (>100 °F).