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Footballer’s Union Charge FIFA To Court

Professional Footballers’ unions of England (PFA) and France (UNFP) have charged FIFA to court in Brussels on Thursday.

Gatekeepers News reports that the organizations are challenging the alledged “unilaterally set” timetable by the world body, in particular its new Club World Cup in 2025.

Players’ unions complained that the expanded Club World Cup which is scheduled to take place in the United States (US) in June and July next year, is an unacceptable additional burden on players.

The global footballers union (FIFPRO) said that they “believe that these decisions violate the rights of players and their unions under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights while also potentially violating EU competition law”.

With the support of FIFPRO, UNFP, and PFA prayed the Brussels Commercial Court to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union by putting forward “four questions for a preliminary ruling”.

The unions said in a statement “Players and their unions have consistently highlighted the current football calendar as overloaded and unworkable.”

Recall that earlier in May, FIFPRO and the World Association of Football Leagues threatened FIFA with legal action.

The players’ representatives accused FIFA, which had expanding the Club World Cup from seven to 32 teams, of having “continued a programme of competition expansion despite the opposition of player unions”.

PFA general manager,, Maheta Molabgo said “The most in-demand players are now part of an endless schedule of games and competitions for club and country, with their limits constantly being pushed through expansion and the creation of new competitions”.

The unions speculated a possible violation by FIFA of the right of European workers to “collectively bargain over their terms and conditions of employment” and their right to “healthy friendly working conditions”, as provided for in European law.

They further cited the ECJ’s ruling in the Super League case in December 2023 as evidence that FIFA is restricting competition law in a “unilateral and discretionary” manner.

FIFA has however not commented, but sources have pointed out that the international match calendar was signed off by its ruling Council which features representation from all continental confederations, including UEFA.

They also insist that the calendar was the result of extensive consultation, and oppose any suggestion that it was imposed on the football community.

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