FIFA and FIFPro sign Memorandum of Understanding – a milestone in the search for global solutions to major issues in football
FIFA and FIFPro, the International Federation of Professional Football Players, have today (2 November 2006) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to mutually recognise each other and reinforce their cooperation and dialogue on the major issues affecting contemporary football.
View the full text of the Memorandum of Understanding
Represented by their respective presidents, Joseph S. Blatter and Philippe Piat, world football’s governing body and the sole organisation representing professional footballers’ unions around the world have thus set down a milestone in the modernisation of football structures and social relations within the football community.
FIFA President Blatter stated: “FIFA and FIFPro are convinced that only global solutions can offer a response to the challenges and threats that the growing universality of football brings to bear on its intrinsic values.
“Economic and commercial forces, players’ agents, and in some cases governments in various parts of the world are trying to intervene in football and its governance. As a result, football has to defend its position and especially its most important protagonists, the players. Today’s signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with FIFPro is a milestone in our quest not only for a European or regional approach but also for worldwide solutions,” Blatter added.
FIFPro President Piat, whose organisation represents some 67,000 registered players in 44 countries worldwide, echoed these sentiments: “This is a historic agreement, primarily because the players are finally recognised as fully fledged constituents of the professional game, but also because it specifically establishes minimum contractual requirements that apply worldwide as well as tribunals with parity of representation, thus increasing the voice of national players’ organisations. Furthermore, it ensures greater legal security within the game, something that is essential if we are to safeguard the game’s longevity.”
The signing ceremony was held at the Camp Nou stadium, home to FC Barcelona, one of the most prestigious clubs in the world and also the employer of some of the finest players in football past and present. Attending the ceremony and speaking as union representatives as well as on behalf of their peers were Lilian Thuram, Samuel Eto’o and Carlos Puyol. Also present at the ceremony were FIFA vice-president and president of the Spanish football association, Angel Maria Villar Llona, as well as Barcelona chairman Juan Laporta.