FIFPRO launch legal action against FIFA over packed schedule


Thursday, 13 June 2024 (16:56 IST)
FIFPRO begun legal proceedings against world football's governing body FIFA on Thursday, as they seek to protect players' rights to guaranteed and protected breaks.

The expansion of the men's Club World Cup is a specific tournament of concern, with the competition due to involve 32 teams and take place over the course of a month between June and July in 2025.

English players' union, The Professional Footballers' Association and their French counterparts UNFP are co-claimants.FIFA are yet to respond to the lawsuit.

Club World Cup concerns ignored

In May, both FIFPRO and the World Leagues Association (WLA) had threatened action if the 2025 Club World Cup due to be played in the United States was not reconsidered.

A letter addressed to FIFA at the time claimed the football calendar was "beyond saturation" and impinged on players' ability to take a meaningful break between seasons.

In response, FIFA rejected claims it had made unilateral decisions to benefit its competitions in the international calendar.

Players' rights 'violated'

Announcing the legal action on Thursday, FIFPRO said in a statement: "FIFPRO Europe member unions have today submitted a legal claim against FIFA, challenging the legality of FIFA's decisions to unilaterally set the International Match Calendar."

"In particular, the decision to create and schedule the FIFA Club World Cup 2025."
"Player unions believe that these decisions violate the rights of players and their unions under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights while also potentially violating EU competition law."

The case will be heard in Belgian courts but the PFA said the Brussels Court of Commerce would be asked to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.(dpa, Reuters)

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