7. June 2024

FIFPRO and the World Leagues Association welcome the International Labor Organization’s technical brief on athletes fundamental principles and rights at work

• The Global Labour Agreement (GLA) signatories acknowledge and support the ILO’s technical brief on athletes fundamental principle and rights at work

• As one of the key principles collective bargaining is a cornerstone of industrial relations providing a structured, transparent, non-discriminatory and objective process

• The promotion and protection of collective bargaining rights are fundamental to governing a fair, just, transparent, and harmonious football industry


Today, the professional football leagues and player unions operating under the Global Labour Agreement acknowledge and support the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) recently published “technical brief on athletes’ rights at work.” This document underscores the essential role of collective bargaining in industrial relations.

The ILO’s brief highlights the necessity for sports organizations and stakeholders to recognize and uphold fundamental principles and rights at work. Most notably, the brief emphasizes the critical importance of collective bargaining as a means for employer and employee representatives to negotiate the terms and conditions of employment in their sector.

Collective bargaining is providing a structured process through which player unions and professional leagues negotiate agreements that benefit all parties involved. This process is fundamental to labour relations and football governance in many countries.

In this context, it is important to protect national collective bargaining agreements from unilateral decisions at global level by establishing the same principles in international football governance. This will ensure a more harmonious and sustainable development of the football sector including the governance of its economic activities and the protection of players health.

FIFPRO and the World Leagues Association, acting under the Global Labour Agreement, remain committed to advocating for practices in line with these principles and urge football bodies to embrace the ILO’s recommendations.

About the GLA: Global Social Dialogue in Professional Football
Signed in September 2022, the GLA established a new international bargaining framework between FIFPRO and the WLA in which both entities and their respective members act as employer and employee representatives. The GLA follows the fundamental principles and rights at work set out by the ILO in the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which was amended in 2022. It is also in line with the Points of Consensus of the ILO Global Dialogue Forum on Decent Work in the World of Sport (2020).

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