Two unions take FIFA to court over the Club World Cup: “Calendar overloaded”

There FIFA was sued before a Brussels court by the professional footballers’ unions of England and France, respectively called PFA and UNFP. According to a statement from the latter, the reason for the complaint is the calendar, unilaterally set by the world body, in particular the new Club World Cup which will be held in 2025: “We believe that these decisions violate the rights that the players and their unions derive from the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and which also violate European competition law”. FIFA had already been threatened with legal action by Fifpro and the World Association of Football Leagues.

The UNFP and PFA, with the support of Fifpro Europe, have asked the Brussels Commercial Court to refer the case to the EU Court of Justice: “The players and their unions reiterate that the current football calendar is overloaded and unworkable. FIFA has unilaterally pursued a competition expansion program despite opposition from trade unions.”

Maheta Molango, director general of the PFA, said: “The most committed players are now part of an endless calendar of matches and competitions for their club and their country, the limits of which are constantly being pushed further.” For the unions, FIFA violates the right of European workers to “collectively negotiate, through their unions, working conditions and their right to health-friendly working conditions”.