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Royal recognition for Theo van Seggelen

14 December 2020
Theo van Seggelen received a special honour from King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands for his significant and outstanding contributions to advancing the wellbeing of professional footballers worldwide. The former FIFPRO General Secretary was appointed as an Officer in the Oranje-Nassau Order.

Van Seggelen received the royal recognition during a special ceremony at the FIFPRO House in the Netherlands, which was also watched by more than one hundred union representatives worldwide via a livestream. The online audience included former FIFPRO Presidents Gordon Taylor, Gerardo Movilla and Leonardo Grosso. .

Earlier this year, Van Seggelen resigned as General Secretary after having served in that role for 28 years. Under his leadership FIFPRO developed into an independent global organisation which is recognised by all major stakeholders in professional football as the only true representative of professional footballers worldwide.

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Theo van Seggelen and his wife Corinne listen to singer Do
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Deputy mayor of Leiden Paul Dirkse presented the royal honour to Theo van Seggelen
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FIFPRO President Philippe Piat presents a memorial book

During his playing career, in the late seventies, Van Seggelen got involved with the Dutch player union, VVCS. He was a member of the player council as well as the board. He was also the union’s president until 2005, when he started working fulltime as FIFPRO’s General Secretary, a role he already had since 1992.

Among his many accomplishments are the international harmonisation of working conditions and player contracts, helping establish many of the now 63 national member unions, and making FIFPRO a professional organisation that looks after the wellbeing of the players both during and after their active career. He also supported Jean-Marc Bosman during his long-lasting judicial battle for freedom of movement.

On 1 January 2020, Van Seggelen officially stepped down as General Secretary and started his current job as FIFPRO Managing Director.