World Association of Professional Football Leagues
30. November 2018

The World Leagues Forum holds its Annual Meeting in Mexico City

New Chairman Christian Seifert: “International Federations must not usurp the calendar for their competitions”

The Annual Meeting of the World Leagues Forum (WLF), which represents 38 professional football leagues around the world, was held today in Mexico City, hosted
by Liga MX.

On this occasion, the WLF appointed Christian Seifert, CEO of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga (German Football League) as its new Chairman. Seifert succeeds Richard Scudamore, Executive Chairman of the English Premier League, who is leaving his position. Joining existing Vice-Chairman Enrique Bonilla, Executive President of Liga MX, is Don Garber, Commissioner of American Major League Soccer, who has been appointed as the other Vice-Chairman. This triumvirate will now form the management group of the WLF.

The leagues warmly welcomed the decision made by the FIFA Council on 14 October 2018 to endorse a package of measures prepared by FIFA, Confederations, the WLF, ECA and FIFPro on the licensing of agents, the creation of a clearing house for transfers at world level, and the limitation of player loans.

The leagues also concluded that clubs which are training players must be better rewarded to encourage the education of young talents everywhere in the world. The leagues advocate to further develop the principle of training compensation for international player transfers.

The WLF also addressed with FIFA representatives, including Victor Montagliani, Vice President of FIFA, President of Concacaf and Chairman of the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee, FIFA’s projects regarding a revamped Club World Cup and a Worldwide Nations League. The WLF reiterated, as of today, their opposition to FIFA's projects, as they would usurp the calendar for international competitions to the disadvantage of all national leagues.

The WLF furthermore welcomed representatives from FIFPro to its Annual Meeting. Following fruitful discussions, the WLF decided to explore further areas of cooperation with FIFPro on a global level.

After the meeting, Christian Seifert, CEO of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga (German Football League) and newly elected Chairman of the WLF stated: “I am honored to have been entrusted with the task of leading the World Leagues Forum. The national competitions of our members are the core of professional football. Thousands of players are trained to play for their clubs and their countries - by doing so our members also support grass roots football. My priority will be to preserve the necessary space in the calendar to allow our leagues and their clubs to develop their national competitions”.

Don Garber: “Having been involved with the World Leagues Forum since its formation in 2016, I look forward to working with Christian Seifert and Enrique Bonilla as a member of the Management Group as we advocate on behalf of the professional football leagues on a global basis.”

Enrique Bonilla stated: “We saw today professional leagues from all around the world coming together and agreeing on the same principles: To better reward the clubs which train young talents, and to make football, and especially the transfer system more transparent. There is a lot of work ahead of us with FIFA and the other stakeholders to achieve these goals”.