FIFPRO’s division in the Americas has made organisational changes with a view to strengthening the representation of professional footballers across the region. The division is also taking another step towards becoming more diverse and inclusive after two women were elected to its regional board.
New statutes were approved at a meeting in Cancún, Mexico under which player unions in Central and North America, and South America, will have two separate executives, allowing them to better represent players in negotiations with regional stakeholders including CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.
The Central and North American executive will be led by Álvaro Ortiz (President) and Alejandro Sequeira (Vice-President), respectively leaders of the Mexican and Costa Rican player associations. The general secretary will be Bob Foose, Executive Director of the Major League Soccer Players Association.
"This is an important day for the players in our region,” Foose said. “It will allow the individual players associations in the region to formally collaborate and speak with one voice regarding issues that impact players. We look forward to working closely with CONCACAF and other football stakeholders to ensure that players are treated fairly and that their voices are heard."
The South American region’s executives will be chosen next month at a meeting in Buenos Aires.
A regional FIFPRO board made up of three representatives from South America and three from Central and North America will continue to oversee the region. Yohanna Álvarez, a lawyer for the Honduran player association, and Camila Garcia, a union leader from Chile, were voted onto the board. Also elected were Juan Garcia (Venezuela) Sergio Marchi (Argentina), Álvaro Ortiz (Mexico) and Juan Ramón Solis (Panama).
The election of the regional board follows the election of new female representatives from Europe and Africa this month. Under new FIFPRO statutes approved in February, neither global nor regional boards can have more than two-thirds of their representatives from either gender.
“I am very satisfied with the fact that more and more women are joining important positions within FIFPRO,” Álvarez said. “That makes me feel very proud of FIFPRO. As all the other women joining the board, I am very well aware of my responsibility representing all the women that want to have a voice in football.”
FIFPRO General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said: “This has been a fruitful meeting that has allowed FIFPRO take another significant step towards becoming more inclusive and diverse, as well as redefining how we can best represent the interest of players across such a large and important region in world football. We look forward to further progress when our affiliated South American player unions meet next month in Argentina.”