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Human rights breaches in Belarus

Human rights breaches in Belarus

Press Release

5th May 2021

FIFPRO is deeply concerned about the treatment of athletes in Belarus who are being targeted by authorities in a serious breach of human rights.

Because of their support for pro-democratic movements, leaders of the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Fund (BSSF) are among those to have faced a vicious backlash from authorities.

We understand the Belarussian Professional Footballers Association has faced difficulties in becoming a registered entity and some players are afraid of joining their union because of intimidation against members of the BSSF.

We will vigorously defend the rights of professional footballers, and other athletes, to enjoy the freedom of speech and the freedom of association.

Like our colleagues at the World Players Association, we call on international sports stakeholders including the International Olympic Committee, FIFA and UEFA to exert their considerable influence to help protect athletes.

We strongly disagree with Belarus hosting the European Women’s Under-19 Championship in 2025 and are concerned about player safety as well as specific reports on violence against women in the country.

Football has a responsibility to ensure that human rights are embedded in all levels of the game.

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