Piat: ‘Important step for players in Eastern Europe’
Thursday 22 March
FIFPro is extremely satisfied with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with UEFA. It includes agreements that both parties will collaborate closely to address problems such as those described in the FIFPro Black Book Eastern Europe.
President Piat placed his signature on behalf of FIFPro Division Europe next to that of Michel Platini, President of UEFA. ‘This is a good step on the road to better working conditions for prof footballers in Eastern Europe, and naturally also for the rest of Europe’, said Philippe Piat, president of FIFPro Division Europe after signing the MoU.
‘We’re not there yet, but we have taken the first step. We are pleased that UEFA and all affiliated football federations now finally acknowledge the problems that we described in the Black Book Eastern Europe. And we are pleased that they want to solve these problem with us, with the players.’
Two weeks ago, the European Commission acknowledged the problems described by FIFPro in its Black Book Eastern Europe in a letter. The European Commission emphasised that these problems ‘are inseparably linked with good governance in sport’. The European Commission urged the football world to tackle these problems together, exactly what FIFPro had proposed during the presentation of the Black Book on 6 February.
The signing of the MoU with UEFA is a sorely-needed and hopeful step in the right direction says Piat. ‘We are fully confident that we will be successful in tacking this very urgent problem in the coming years. We will have to be patient, for the solution to these issues naturally requires time.’
Platini announced the signing of the MoU to all 53 affiliated national football federations during the general assembly of UEFA in Istanbul, Turkey. He spoke openly of the problems which many players face : ‘In some countries clubs spend money they do not have, while others no longer pay their players. How is it possible for there to be more money in football than ever before and yet so many clubs that have never been in so much debt?’
‘In some countries players sign or terminate contracts under pressure or threats. This cannot be tolerated. We must do more to protect the players, without whom there would be no football.’
‘Violence, match-fixing, illegal betting, doping, pressures and threats against players, flouting contracts, trafficking of young players, money laundering: these scourges exist. They exist in society and they exist in football. It is up to us to fight them, with the help of the public authorities, to which I renew my call today. So let us protect the players, let us protect the game, let us clean up football.’
FIFPro is looking forward to the collaboration with UEFA, and also with ECA (the clubs) and the EPFL (the leagues), says Piat. ‘We are ready to clean up football. It is time for to reinstate respect for the prof footballers.’
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