FIFPro takes 'dim view' of FIFA election


World Players' Union FIFPro believes FIFA remains "entrenched in a governance structure and culture that is open to corrupt practices" after the election of Gianni Infantino as the organisation's new president on Friday.

FIFA Congress on Friday approved a raft of reforms intended to rid the organisation of the corruption that has seen several high-ranking officials arrested and former president Sepp Blatter banned from all football-related activity for six years.

But FIFPro, the global union for professional footballers, insists the changes do not go far enough and has called for players to be given more of a say.

A statement read: "FIFPro takes a dim view of Friday's FIFA election that leaves the new president, whatever his merits or failings, entrenched in a governance structure and culture that is open to corrupt practices.

"Despite a package of reforms approved today by FIFA, FIFPro fears placing increased power in the hands of FIFA's 209 member associations lies at the heart of the problem. 

"These member organisations of FIFA are not representative of the game and, yet, wield enormous influence over issues that affect key stakeholders such as the players, fans, clubs and leagues. The newly adopted reforms failed to address the fundamental issue of making football authorities accountable to the game's most important actors.

"FIFA's system of governance has been based on favour swapping and financial inducements, not to mention obstructing external oversight from governments and the game's key stakeholders.

"The players, much like the clubs, leagues and fans, were ignored in the latest reform effort and today's governance review will not suffice to address FIFA's inherent governance shortcomings.

"FIFPro is deeply concerned for the 65,000 professional male and female footballers we represent as their rights are often blatantly overlooked and exploited as a result of FIFA's monopolistic structure."

FIFPro secretary-general Theo van Seggelen added: "The structure in place still does not allow football authorities to be held accountable by some of the game's most important stakeholders.

"Genuine reform would ensure players, clubs and leagues have a fair and proportionate share of power in running the game, to create binding decisions on all issues that affect them."