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As health and safety of the professional footballers are of paramount importance for FIFPro, the worldwide representative for 65,000 players would like to emphasize that as the 2022 World Cup is to be organised in Qatar, there is only a limited window of opportunities concerning the dates the event could be held.

Staging a World Cup in and around the summer months of Qatar is simply not an option. It is a huge health risk that no responsible stakeholder should be willing to take.

At last week's FIFPro General Assembly in Tokyo, Japan, President Philippe Piat reiterated FIFPro's stance in firm words: "Only the physical integrity of the players will guide us. I repeat again today, and encourage all FIFPro member union representatives to carry out this message, that we will not play during the 2022 summer in Qatar!"

On Monday in Zurich, during a meeting of a special task force including representatives from clubs, leagues, local organisers and players (FIFPro), FIFA acknowledged that there are medical concerns at holding the competition during any period between May and September, which is a conclusion that is backed by FIFPro and its Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Vincent Gouttebarge.

In his latest blog, Dr. Gouttebarge explains that from a health and safety perspective, FIFPro will condemn a 2022 World Cup in the aforementioned period. "The World Cup should rather take place in the months January or February (lowest estimated Wet Bulb Globe Temperature), scheduling all matches in overcast conditions in the late afternoon or evening (not before 17:00 pm)."

Click here to read the latest blog of Dr. Vincent Gouttebarge

In recent months, FIFA and some of the other stakeholders have presented various proposals concerning the most appropriate moment for organising the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. FIFPro has been committed to the process of discussing viable alternatives, but FIFPro is disgusted to hear that some parties only appear interested in talking about the commercial perspective and the compensation to cover the apparent financial consequences of moving a World Cup from its traditional dates.

For FIFPro, the health of the players is non-negotiable. While we understand the concerns of those whose competitions will be affected, FIFPro will not be swayed to endorse a World Cup that puts the health of the players at risk. Their safety comes first.

 

Qatar labour rights situation

During Monday's meeting in Zurich, FIFPro addressed the current situation for employees in Qatar, who have to cope with the country's kafala sponsorship system, which FIFPro sees as a violation of basic human rights. The individual and collective rights of all workers, whether they are professional footballers or construction workers, must never be forgotten or disregarded.

 

Photo: World Cup 2014 - Mexico's Diego Reyes and Carlos Salcido during a drinking break in the match against The Netherlands (Photo by Pics United)

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