Player unions from England and France take legal action against FIFA

The professional footballers' unions of England (PFA) and France (UNFP) filed a lawsuit against FIFA this Thursday in the Brussels Commercial Court, contesting a 'unilaterally set' schedule, specifically regarding the Club World Cup.

SoccerDino, Website Writer
Published: 02:57, 13 Jun 2024

These unions consider that "these decisions violate the rights of players, supported by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as European competition law," stated the UNFP.

With the support of FifPro Europe, the professional footballers' union, the English and French unions are requesting the Brussels Commercial Court to refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union, presenting relevant arguments in light of European law.

"The players and the unions continue to emphasize that the current schedule is overloaded and impractical," noted the UNFP, mentioning that in early May, FifPro and the Association of Leagues had already threatened to take the matter to court. The unions argue that the relentless demands of the current schedule are unsustainable, leading to player fatigue and increased risk of injuries.

According to the unions, there is a unilateral position from FIFA in expanding the Club World Cup from seven to 32 teams, with the first edition scheduled for next year, from June 15 to July 13, in the United States. This expansion, they claim, exacerbates the already congested calendar, leaving little room for rest and recovery for the players.

"The most sought-after players are now part of an endless schedule of games and competitions for their clubs and countries, where the limits are constantly exceeded," lamented Maheta Molango, CEO of the English union. He highlighted the physical and mental toll this takes on players, who are expected to perform at the highest level without adequate breaks.

The unions' legal action underscores their commitment to protecting players' rights and well-being. By challenging FIFA's decision, they aim to bring attention to the need for a more balanced and sustainable schedule that prioritizes the health and performance of the players. The outcome of this legal battle could have significant implications for the future of football scheduling and the governance of the sport.

Updated: 02:57, 13 Jun 2024