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Playing Our Part: Footballers During the Covid-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Case study

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FIFPRO is publishing a new report ‘Playing Our Part' to highlight the initiatives taken by professional footballers and their unions during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Since the start of the crisis, footballers have reacted through individual or collective activism, solidarity or philanthropy – supporting charitable projects, healthcare workers as well as communities and fellow players in need.

As the world continues to battle the pandemic, 'Playing Our Part' shows that:

  • Footballers around the world are helping communities at risk by providing food, shelter and healthcare equipment

  • Footballers and their unions in multiple countries are making responsible and collective decisions to protect their clubs, leagues and industry

  • Footballers in smaller leagues and markets are among vulnerable groups and themselves need urgent support

“Throughout the world, and across different industries, the global crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is leading to countless examples of solidarity community activism. Every day brings tragedy and hardship for many, but we also experience collectivism and a desire to help others like rarely before.” FIFPRO General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said. “We are proud to represent unions and players who are part of this trend and role models in their community.”

“We are proud to represent unions and players who are role models in their community”

— by Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, Secretary General of FIFPRO

“At the same time, we must not forget that many parts of our game, our own industry are also vulnerable at this time. This crisis risks inflicting severe structural damage to professional football and in particular tens of thousands of players and club staff around the world, who are experiencing very precarious situations. It’s important that the football stakeholders and public authorities look beyond short term crisis management and identify solutions to support the game and protect its valuable role in society.”

To support the most vulnerable in the football industry, the report offers additional considerations including:

  • How football stakeholders can work together to support lower leagues, smaller markets and women’s football

  • How players and player unions can have access to specific funding opportunities from their industry, such as through the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan or confederation programs such as UEFA HatTrick

  • How governments can support the sports community and protect athletes, clubs and leagues from further massive economic and structural damage