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Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today, Tuesday September 1, released the following statement as a result of the Socceroos decision to decline all commercial appearances on behalf of Football Federation Australia (FFA) until a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is reached.

PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian confirmed that the Socceroos would not attend FFA commercial events and appearances and will instead seek to undertake additional community and charity appearances to ensure fans do not miss out on meeting the players.

“This is a serious decision by the players, and they have not taken it lightly,” said Vivian. “They do so in support of all of Australia’s professional footballers.

“The players will undertake all World Cup qualifiers, community, media and charity appearances, despite being under no contractual obligation to do so.

“What our Socceroos members are seeking is simple, respect from the game’s governing body. Currently that is missing from the negotiations regarding a new agreement to protect the rights of the players and to grow the game together.

“The A-League and the Matildas are fighting for an agreement that respects their critical role in the development of the game and all who want to see football in Australia continue to progress.

“The players are currently not being respected by the FFA. There is over $1.4million in outstanding remuneration owed to A-League players. Players are being let down by some clubs and there are no repercussions from FFA when obligations to players are continually not met.

The Matildas have had to undertake a full-time workload for part-time wages. We have seen little to no regard shown for the impact this has on the lives of our elite female players. This is unacceptable.

The Socceroos stand in solidarity with their A-League and Matildas counterparts. Without respect being afforded to the players the game cannot move forward.

“The PFA has proposed measures to address many of the issues the code faces. This has included a more robust A-League licensing system, improved governance of the game and an agreement which shares the game’s revenues fairly and equitably.

“The FFA’s response to this has been to attack the rights of players to have a collective agreement, by terminating the Memorandum of Understanding, the last legal protection of the players.

“The Socceroos value community support above all, as demonstrated by their willingness to undertake additional community and charity appearances. However, the nation’s elite footballers need to be treated with respect by FFA so we can continue to grow the game.”