The Professional Football Department was established in January 2016 to increase the level of engagement between FIFA and professional football stakeholders.
The department’s main objectives are to manage FIFA’s various channels of communication with key professional football stakeholders, to establish a base of professional football data and knowledge, and – in conjunction with the confederations – to expand club licensing in each region.
In an effort to include the concerns of fans, players and actors across the globe who love football, FIFA is committed to cooperation and greater dialogue with the professional game on world football matters. The Football Stakeholders Committee connects the European Club Association, the European Professional Football Leagues Association, FIFPro, World Leagues Forum and other relevant actors with Member Associations, Confederations and FIFA.
FIFA provides services and programmes to ensure the effective professionalisation of clubs, which includes Club Licensing, the establishment of National Dispute Resolution Chambers (NDRCs) and other programmes. FIFA is working in partnership with the six confederations through the FIFA Club Licensing Programme to establish standards for club football development and governance. FIFA is also creating a long-term strategy to increase the number of NDRCs as well as other programmes to support clubs' and leagues' professionalisation at domestic level.
The club licensing system provides many benefits, one of which is that it enables FIFA to act as a central, global benchmarking hub. This gives FIFA the means to provide the confederations with a wealth of empirical data and makes comparative analysis on club licensing issues possible.
The collection and analysis of data generates valuable information, enhancing transparency and accountability. FIFA’s Global Club Football Report is a significant first step in improving structures and operations, focusing on both club licensing issues and professional football matters in general.