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It was a historical day for FIFPro, as the worldwide association of professional footballers signed the autonomous agreement on the minimum requirements for standard player contracts, yesterday in Brussels.

 

‘It took more time than we ever imagined’, said Philippe Piat, president of FIFPro Division Europe, looking back at the process that started in 2001. ‘But the main thing is that we did it.’

 

Roland Juhasz, professional footballer of Anderlecht, league leaders in Belgium, attended the ceremony. ‘I am delighted that FIFPro and all parties have come to this agreement’, said the vice-captain of the Hungarian national team (70 caps). ‘We all know that there are many countries, like my home country and other European countries, that cope with problems, especially concerning players that are not treated correctly. I thank FIFPro and the three other stakeholders for their willingness to realize this agreement that will help us, the players, in our effort.’

 

 
Juhasz’ countryman László Andor - Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and responsible for social dialogue - agreed with the player. ´It is - for example - unheard-of that players´ salaries are not paid on time, or are not paid at all. The European Commission cannot condone such actions.’

 

Andor looked to the future and told the delegations of the four stakeholders: ‘Use the social dialogue to make further progress. The social dialogue is a tool for you as social partners, for joint actions on any issue that you would find relevant.’

 

Theo van Seggelen, FIFPro secretary general, agreed: ‘Let this agreement be an example in the fight against racism, violence and match-fixing. This agreement shows that all parties within football are willing to work together. It is an enormous step forward to make football more transparent. And do not forget, that the UEFA’s Financial Fair Play plan can only be successful if all football players have written player contracts.’

 

European Club Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confessed that he needed time to understand the importance of the minimum requirements. ‘Years ago, when I first heard about the minimum requirements, I did not like them. In professional football, players earn incredible amounts of money; think of players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Franck Ribéry. Then why should we talk about minimum requirements? I did not understand it well. These minimum requirements are all about players for whom things are less well-arranged than for the top players.’

 

‘In the world of football there are many problems, such as match-fixing and democracy. I am glad that in Europe we have a wonderful family who is willing to find solutions to these problems.’

 

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Click here for a photo report of the Signing Ceremony