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FIFA Risks Facing Legal Action From Global Players Union, Leagues

FIFPRO and WLA expressed their worries about the strain on national leagues and the health risks to players.

By Paul Tuama

The global football governing body FIFA has been urged by FIFPRO and the World Leagues Association to reconsider its plans for hosting a 32-team Club World Cup at the end of the upcoming season.

Failure to do so may lead to legal action. With all three European club competitions expanding to 36 teams and a 32-team FIFA Club World Cup scheduled in the United States from June 15 to July 13 next year, concerns have been raised about the saturation of the football calendar.

FIFPRO and WLA expressed their worries about the strain on national leagues and the health risks to players in a letter addressed to FIFA’s president and secretary-general.

The letter highlighted the challenges faced by leagues in organizing their competitions and the potential harm to players due to excessive workload. FIFA has yet to respond to the letter, and FIFPRO and WLA plan to address their concerns at FIFA’s ruling council meeting on May 17 in Bangkok, Thailand.

“If FIFA refuses to commit to resolving the issues, FIFPRO and WLA will advise their members of their options, including taking legal action against FIFA, the BBC reported the letter as saying.

According to Reuters, FIFA announced on Friday that it would not entertain the idea of rearranging their newly proposed 32-team Club World Cup. FIFA responded by refuting allegations that the organization unilaterally favored its competitions within the global football calendar.

In a letter reviewed by Reuters, Grafstrom asserted that FIFA has consistently engaged with relevant stakeholders regarding the International Match Calendar (IMC). Grafstrom noted that both FIFPRO and WLA participated in discussions concerning the future of the calendar in 2021 and 2022. However, Grafstrom indicated that FIFA was open to sitting down with both FIFPRO and WLA to further discuss the issue during the offseason.

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