The World Leagues Forum, which represents more than 40 professional leagues from all around the world held its Annual Meeting this Friday 3 December 2021. Due to the pandemic, the meeting was held both in person in London and online.
The WLF renewed its Management Board for 2022 with Enrique Bonilla (Liga MX) as WLFs Chairman, and with Don Garber (Major League Soccer) and Richard Masters (Premier League) as the two vice-Chairmen.
The member leagues discussed the reform of the international match calendar and the recent FIFA proposals. Two studies (available on www.worldleaguesforum.com) conclude that the financial impact and sporting impact of FIFA's proposals would be extremely detrimental for domestic leagues which could lose up to €8.5 bn per season.
Enrique Bonilla, Chairman of the WLF declared: "The WLF requests FIFA to unequivocally abandon its biennial World Cup proposal as it is unwanted by fans and would destroy value for football at every level. Moreover, no decision on the match calendar can be made without the agreement of the leagues, their member clubs and the players that provide the foundations for football."
David Aganzo, the President of FIFPRO, the association representing players at world level, also had an opportunity to share their views about the IMC: "New formats are threatening the fabric of our domestic industry and overwhelm a calendar that is already overcrowded and requires workload safeguards. The question here is not whether we need innovation or not, of course we do, but why all these plans came into existence without the required assessment and involvement of players and leagues in the first place."
The World Leagues Forum also released its first ever Women's Football Report, in recognition of the growth and potential of professional women's football. The project was conducted by former Australia international and ex-FIFA Council member Moya Dodd, who stated: "Football is creating opportunities for women to participate as professional players, coaches, referees, commentators or administrators. Professional leagues and their clubs are crucial to creating and sustaining these roles."
WLF Media contact:
Jerome Perlemuter, General Secretary, World Leagues Forum
Note to editors:
The WLF is the world association of professional football leagues. It includes the Leagues from around the World listed below. Its purpose is to improve governance structures in world football, address the issues of professional football and foster cooperation between its members. www.worldleaguesforum.com
Asian Football Confederation (AFC):
J LEAGUE (Japan), QATAR STARS LEAGUE (Qatar), SAUDI PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE (Saudi Arabia), MALAYSIA LLP (Malaysia), AUSTRALIAN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (Australia), UAE PRO LEAGUE (United Arab Emirates), INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE (India)
Confederation of African Football (CAF):
LIGUE DE FOOTBALL PROFESSIONNEL (Algeria), PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE (South Africa), NIGERIA PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (Nigeria), ZIMBABWE PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE (Zimbabwe), LIGUE NATIONALE DE FOOTBALL PROFESSIONNEL (Morocco)
Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF):
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER (USA), LIGA MX (Mexico), LIGA NACIONAL DE FÚTBOL PROFESIONAL HONDURAS (Honduras), UNAFUT COSTA RICA (Costa Rica), LIGA PANAMENA DE FUTBOL (Panama), LIGA DOMINICANA DE FUTBOL (Dominican Republic), CANADIAN PREMIER LEAGUE (Canada)
South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL):
DIMAYOR (Colombia), LIGAPRO (Ecuador)
Union of European Football Associations (UEFA):
SERIE A (Italy), LA LIGA (Spain), BUNDESLIGA (Germany), LIGUE DE FOOTBALL PROFESSIONNEL (France), PREMIER LEAGUE (England), EREDIVISIE (Netherlands), DIVISIONSFORENINGEN (Denmark), FORENINGEN SVENSK ELITFOTBOLL (Sweden), LIGA PORTUGUESA DE FUTEBOL PROFISSIONAL (Portugal), SWISS FOOTBALL LEAGUE (Switzerland), SCOTTISH PROFESSIONNAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (Scotland), EKSTRAKLASA (Poland), SUPER LIGA SRBIJE (Serbia), UKRAINIAN PREMIER LEAGUE (Ukraine), ISRAELI PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUES (Israel), LIGA PROFESIONISTA DE FOTBAL (Romania), PRO LEAGUE (Belgium), RUSSIAN PREMIER LEAGUE (Russia), TURKISH CLUBS UNION (Turkey), SUPER LEAGUE GREECE (Greece)
Women's Football Report