FIFA Saga FIFPro calls for release of all documents relevant to Sepp Blatter's resignation

The union, made up of 58 member nations and almost 65,000 professional players, concluded a two-day board meeting and described the international landscape under FIFA in recent years as “a breeding ground for corruptible and abusive behaviour”.

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  play (Getty Images)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, a member of FIFPro, is congratulated by Sepp Blatter earlier this year after winning the Fifa Ballon d'Or. play

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, a member of FIFPro, is congratulated by Sepp Blatter earlier this year after winning the Fifa Ballon d'Or.

(Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)
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The world players’ union has called for FIFA to release all documents relevant to Sepp Blatter’s resignation, urging full accountability and accusing the world governing body of “failing to protect the basic rights” of individuals.

Fifpro is the worldwide organisation for players in 58 national associations – about 65,000 professional footballers.

Fifpro, which has been in existence for 50 years, had welcomed Blatter’s decision to step down and heralded the shock moment in Zurich as a key opportunity to reform the governance of the game across the world.

The union, made up of 58 member nations and almost 65,000 professional players, concluded a two-day board meeting and described the international landscape under FIFA in recent years as “a breeding ground for corruptible and abusive behaviour”.

A part of the statement read: “Fifpro asks our political leaders to reconsider the notion that sport has the ‘right’ be protected, in a bubble called the ‘Autonomy of Sport’. Sport has long advocated for, and received, special treatment to operate outside the ordinary laws that govern all organisations, businesses and citizens. The sad results are self-evident.

“Accordingly, Fifpro has today committed to the development of a new governance model, which will be critical to usher in a new era of transparency and performance. In the past, Fifpro has pushed for many reform items which are now considered essential. Fifpro, represented by board member Leonardo Grosso, offered recommendations in a recent internal review process at Fifa, chaired by Mark Pieth between 2012-2014, where the good governance principles put forth by Fifpro were rejected outright by Fifa.

“The election of a new Fifa president is not the most pressing issue up for debate in the coming months. Urgent attention is needed to address a deeply-flawed governance structure which has permeated itself on international, regional and national levels. Football is now a breeding ground for corruptible and abusive behaviour.

“Fifpro believes that now is the time to reclaim the essence of football as the beautiful game through inclusive, transparent, responsive, democratic, accountable and healthy football governance.

The statement continued: “Fifpro today calls on Fifa to publicly disclose all relevant documents pertaining to the events and decisions surrounding Sepp Blatter’s resignation as Fifa president,” it said in a statement. “At the conclusion of a two-day meeting of the Fifpro board, Fifpro demands full accountability to the players and all other stakeholders, including the fans, who have been made to suffer by the crisis of confidence enveloping Fifa as football’s global governing body.

“Such accountability is essential if the reform process is to be properly informed and ultimately successful. Football’s governance structure has failed to protect the basic rights of players and continues to expose them to other forms of abuse such as third-party ownership. Whether it is not being paid due wages and the inability to seek new employment when a club has breached its contractual responsibilities. These are fundamentals that are still not yet resolved.

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