The Players Union files a lawsuit against FIFA

The Players Union files a lawsuit against FIFA

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFPro) announced that it had filed a legal complaint to challenge the tournament calendar, which will start in 2025.

There’s a storm about the new one again clubs World Cup: Fifpro has announced that its European members have made a bid Complaint against FIFA To challenge “the legality of decisions regarding the unilateral setting of the schedule of international matches, and in particular, the decision to establish and schedule the 2025 Club World Cup.” The lawyer will defend the players’ position Jean Louis Dupont.

The announcement came in a very long press release, in short, Players claim that the tournament is not feasible due to the overloaded calendar And despite their complaints, FIFA has never wanted to negotiate alternative agreements. In the note issued by Fifpro there is also a reference to Cgue refereeing the Premier Leagueregarding the abuse of power by FIFA and UEFA, emphasizing how unilateral decisions such as the decision to organize the Club World Cup can be considered inconsistent with this ruling.

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“Players’ unions believe that these decisions violate the rights of players and their unions guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and may also violate EU competition law.

The English Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and the National Professional Football Association (French Footballers’ Federation), with the support of FIFPRO Europe, are asking the Brussels Commercial Court to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) with four questions for a preliminary ruling.

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The European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights of Workers and their Unions guarantees various fundamental rights. These include the prohibition of forced or compulsory labour, freedom of work, the right to negotiate and conclude collective agreements, the right to healthy working conditions, and the right to paid annual leave. These rights are covered by Articles 5, 15, 28 and 31 of the Charter.

Players and their associations have consistently maintained that the current football calendar is overloaded and unwieldy. However, FIFA, as demonstrated by recent offers from international federations and leagues, has not undertaken meaningful negotiations and has unilaterally continued its competition expansion program despite the opposition of players’ unions. This includes the decision to go ahead with an expanded Club World Cup.

The role of FIFPRO Europe and its members is not to favor or oppose one competition over another. However, in the broader context of the global football calendar, players and federations view the new Club World Cup as a turning point.

For players most in demand for club matches and national team competitions, the right to guaranteed annual leave has become virtually non-existent, with the 2025 Club World Cup being held during the only time of year theoretically available for players to take such rest. brake.

Players’ unions believe that such decisions taken by FIFA violate the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFREU), without any serious justification. Ultimately, the players’ associations believe that the aim of this new competition is to increase the wealth and power of football’s global governing body, without sufficient regard for the impact on the players involved or other stakeholders in professional football.

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Furthermore, the players’ unions argue that in light of the European Court of Justice ruling on the Premier League, such unilateral and discretionary decisions – which are not the result of clear, objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and democratic legal frameworks – constitute “restrictions on the freedom to practice football”. Competition by object pursuant to Article 101 TFEU.

FIFA considers it normal that an area should be unilaterally and arbitrarily occupied – under a modern and open administration – which falls naturally within the competence of the social partners and therefore in the negotiation of collective agreements between players’ unions and employers’ organisations.

The member associations of FIFPRO Europe ask the Brussels Commercial Court to refer this crucial issue to the Court of Justice of the European Union through four questions for preliminary ruling, the content of which can be summarized as follows: FIFA, by imposing it unilaterally and discretionarily, violates the international match calendar, and more Specifically, the new competition titled “FIFA Club World Cup 2025” Rights of workers and trade unions under EU and EU competition law? More specifically, does imposing such unilateral decisions on players violate the right under Article 28 CFREU of those players to collectively negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment, via their unions?

This case is related to the case “Diarra v. FIFA”, in which the European Court of Justice is scheduled to issue a ruling in the next few months. FIFPRO Europe (which joined the proceedings alongside Lassana Diarra) argues that regulation of the professional football labor market should result from collective agreements between social partners and not from the imposition of a unilateral “transfer regime” by FIFA which fundamentally interferes with the freedom of Work and human dignity.

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The member associations of FIFPRO Europe are represented before the Commercial Court of Brussels by the Dupont-Hissel law firm: in particular, Jean-Louis Dupont is not only the lawyer who defended the Premier League in the case won before the European Court of Justice, but also who is on the In particular the lawyer behind the Bosman ruling that revolutionized the transfer system of world football in 1995.

The complaint asks the Belgian court to refer four questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling. The four questions relate to:

Do the rights guaranteed by the EU Charter of Rights for Workers and their Unions, in particular Articles 5, 15, 28 and 31, prevent FIFA from scheduling the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup in a period that traditionally represents the window in which players must play? Taking a yearly break, and against official representation from players/labor unions.

Whether unilaterally imposing such decisions on players violates the rights under Article 28 of the Charter of those players to collectively negotiate their working conditions.

Whether the right to healthy working conditions, guaranteed by Article 28, has been violated by FIFA’s decision to impose a significant additional workload through the 2025 Club World Cup.

Whether FIFA’s unilateral decisions regarding the schedule of international matches and the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup give rise to a “restriction of competition” within the meaning of Article 101 of EU law.

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