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New FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s comments about players being involved in decision-making under his leadership have been discussed during a two-day meeting of the FIFPro board.

FIFPro General-Secretary Theo van Seggelen said, “We welcome moves to try and integrate players, but FIFPro needs to be convinced that the players will not have yet another token role and continue to be marginalised.”

The FIFPro board also addressed FIFA reforms, adopted last week, including an invitation for FIFPro-appointed representatives to participate in a newly-created Stakeholders Committee. FIFA proposes that the composition of this group should be divided between players, clubs and leagues, together with representatives from futsal, beach football and the women’s game.

FIFPro believes the professional football sector requires its own special department made up of players and clubs to address key issues such as FIFA’s transfer system regulations, the international match calendar and the implementation of minimum contractual standards that respect employment law.

Infantino admitted in his election manifesto that the transfer system needs to be reformed, which is a priority for FIFPro. The European Commission is currently studying a complaint against FIFA's Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) lodged by FIFPro back in September.

“Professional football would be much better served if FIFA adopted collective bargaining where players and clubs are put on an equal footing to negotiate their working conditions,” Van Seggelen said.

“Any decisions taken as a result of collective bargaining must be legally binding with no interference from other FIFA committees or departments.”

FIFPro was critical of the latest FIFA reform process for failing make football authorities accountable to the game's key stakeholders, such as the players, fans, clubs and leagues.

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