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Player & Club Associations React To FIFA Task Force Recommendations

Tue 24th Feb 2015 | FIFA

The European Club Association (ECA), Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) and FIFPro have all responded to FIFA’s Task Force recommendation of hosting the Qatar 2022 World Cup in November/December.

ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, said: 

“Today’s recommendation of the Task Force regarding the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar does not come as a surprise; it was rather expected. For the football family the rescheduling of the FIFA World Cup 2022 presents a difficult and challenging task.

“All match calendars across the world will have to accommodate such tournament in 2022/23, which requires everyone’s willingness to compromise.

“However, the European clubs and leagues cannot be expected to bear the costs for such rescheduling. We expect the clubs to be compensated for the damage that a final decision would cause.”

EPFL Statement read: 

“During the meeting of the Task Force for the Qatar World Cup 2022, held this morning in Doha, FIFA has proposed the period from 19 November to 23 December for the organisation of such international tournament.

“The Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) and the clubs have expressed their disagreement with respect to this proposal which will perturb and cause great damage to the normal running of the European domestic competitions.

“Leagues and clubs have reiterated, once again, their joint solution for holding the World Cup during the month of May. This proposal has been structured on a fact-based study which is totally acceptable from the meteorological point of view by providing reasonable climatic conditions with regard to both players and fans.

“The FIFA Executive Committee will take a final decision with respect to the period of final staging of the World Cup 2022 during its upcoming meeting on 19 March.

“During today’s meeting in Doha, the President of the Task Force has assured that any solution proposed, including the May one jointly presented by the leagues and clubs, will be brought to the final discussion in the FIFA Executive Committee.”

FIFPro released the following statement: 

 “FIFPro is convinced that a switch to the winter months is the only viable solution to protect the health and safety of the players who will be competing at the 2022 World Cup.

“However, a move away from climatic conditions that would put the players at risk should not be assessed in isolation. FIFPro remains of the option that there are of several unresolved challenges going forward.

“Any discussion about the proposed reduction in World Cup competition days is a matter that involves the players. Changes to the match schedule that could potentially place extra strain on the workload of the players is for FIFPro to analyse together with all stakeholders in due course.

“Abolishing the kafala system is a human rights issue that needs to be addressed as it affects all workers, including the professional footballers who ply their trade in Qatar.

“FIFPro remains committed to engaging the football community on a raft of issues, including the establishment of international (FIFA) standards within the Qatari professional league. That means the application of minimum contractual requirements and dispute resolution, without limiting the application of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber.

“As part of this ongoing discussion with FIFA and Qatari authorities, FIFPro believes the creation of an independent players’ association in Qatar is critical to ensure players have the right to collectively organise.

FIFPro General-Secretary Theo van Seggelen said, “Removing players from the danger zone of playing in a Qatari summer is only the first, very important step.

“FIFPro has tabled its concerns as the conditions in Qatar go way beyond heat. It’s a human rights matter more than anything else.

“Kafala does not protect the rights of the players in Qatar. Similarly, the players should have the right to unionise, access to fair contractual standards, and dispute resolution mechanisms that align with the international football community.”

Image: REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley




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