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Another milestone for the Serbian professional footballers association, Nezavisnost. On June 1st, the country's national dispute resolution chamber (NDRC) will officially be inaugurated, meaning that Serbian players can turn to an independent arbitration court to settle disputes with their employers.

Last week, the Serbian Football Association (FAS) announced the establishment of the NDRC. This means that both local and foreign professional footballers in Serbia have access to a grievance procedure that sees disputes resolved in accordance with FIFA regulations. The NDRC will have a president and six arbitrators: FAS, the clubs and the players union each have two arbitrators. The FAS arbitrators do not participate in the settlement of disputes between players and clubs.

FIFPro welcomes the establishment of the Serbian NDRC and hopes that it will serve as an example for more countries in Eastern Europe.

Nezavisnost President Mirko Poledica also showed his satisfaction on the installation of the NDRC. "Before we established our players union in 2009, the professional football players in Serbia had no rights. Today, FAS is operating and complying with FIFA regulations. The legal system is excellent, it should protect the players' rights".

"Our collaboration with FAS is improving, although co-operation with the League is non-existent", Poledica continues. "The clubs try to cheat the players any which way. But we defend the players and have been very successful at it, as we have the support of the FAS, the Ministry of Sports and of course the players."

"Our membership is growing steadily. In the last ten days we successfully visited three clubs, 100 % of the players are a member of our union. By the end of the season we expect to have a 100 % membership at all clubs . Players have recognised our work".

"Our next step is a collective bargaining agreement and a Guarantee Fund."

FIFPro – the representative of all professional footballers worldwide – praises the work done by Nezavisnost, whose representatives have to cope with difficult circumstances. FIFPro gives its full support to the Serbian players union in its defence of the players' rights.