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The Polish Minister of Sport and Tourism has promised the Polish Union of Professional Footballers (PZP) that he will strive to establish a second career programme for former professional athletes.

Minister Andrzej Biernat visited the PZP headquarters last week to discuss the problems professional footballers are facing, such as second career opportunities and the lack of a guaranteed pension.

Many professional footballers face difficulties when they have to switch to a second career. One of the main causes for this problem is insufficient education.

Minister Biernat said he was impressed by the possibilities that the FIFPro Online Academy offers professional footballers and other professional athletes. Biernat was also positive about the Polish union's ideas for developing different educational programmes for players. Furthermore, the PZP and the Minister paid special attention to examples of pension schemes for professional footballers that have been established in other countries. These pension funds offer players the opportunity to finance a transitional period of 5 to 10 years when trying to start their second career. There is no such pension scheme yet in Poland.

The Polish players union expects that with the support of Minister Biernat several solutions will be implemented to improve the players’ life after football. PZP president, Marek Pieta: "The first steps towards pension programmes for athletes will be taken in the coming months. We are pleased that the Minister shares our point of view, because any changes in this area will be beneficial not only for footballers, but also for other professional athletes”.

"We are highly motivated by his enthusiastic reaction to follow up our ideas for creating better conditions for professional footballers in Poland”.

FIFPro Online Academy Manager, Frederique Winia: “FIFPro is delighted with the commitment of the Polish minister to further develop and improve education programmes for athletes. It is important that all players think about their life after football during their career. The FIFPro Online Academy is therefore a useful tool. Further initiatives at national level are of course appreciated by FIFPro”.

Photo (from left to right): former Widzew Lodz player Wieslaw Wraga, Vice-president of Polish Union of Footballers Andrzej Grebosz, Polish Minister of Sport and Tourism Andrzej Biernat and President of Polish Union of Footballers Marek Pieta.