FIFPro set to influence Laws of the Game

FIFPro, the World Footballers’ Association representing 65 thousand professional players, is set to play an important role in future amendments to the Laws of the Game as a part of a newly-established panel of experts advising IFAB (International Football Association Board).

Richard Jobson, a member of FIFPro’s Technical Committee and Assistant Chief Executive to England Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), will represent FIFPro, bolstered by player-driven research harnessing the views of professionals worldwide.

FIFPro joins one of two new advisory panels, scheduled to meet for the first time, in Belfast, on November 24 and 25. They will meet twice a year to discuss topical issues related to the Laws of the Game and present their recommendations to IFAB. The initiative is designed to support IFAB with greater expertise before decisions are passed.

Jobson, whose former clubs include Watford, Hull City, Oldham Athletic, Leeds United and Manchester City, will be in good company on the Football Advisory Panel sitting alongside Anthony Baffoe, the former Ghanaian international who heads up the PFAG (Professional Footballers Association of Ghana), one of 58 FIFPro member unions.

Among the topics on the agenda for their first meetings this month will be: the so-called “triple punishment” rule; Law 12 with respect to handling the ball; rolling substitutions for amateur/recreational football; and the use of electronic performance monitoring systems.

FIFPro’s Director of Players’ Services, Tijs Tummers, said: “We intend to reach out to our vast network of professional players worldwide to ensure their voices are heard in this forum.

By bringing their views to the table, through research and surveying our global membership, FIFPro has a critical role to play in how the Laws of the Game will be shaped in the foreseeable future.

We’re keen to advance the discussion on triple-punishment and pleased to see this item on the agenda. FIFPro’s been campaigning to have this changed for some time.

A number of areas require FIFPro’s input, including how to best incorporate new technology.

The future could also dictate, as the concussion debate reveals, that we may need to revise The Laws of the Game on health and safety grounds, to protect players who suffer from head injuries.

The players, through FIFPro, need to be prepared and proactive to safeguard themselves and this is one forum where that discussion can evolve.

Football Advisory Panel (IFAB)

Anthony Baffoe (Ghana), Gijs de Jong (Netherlands, KNVB), Shaka Hislop (Trinidad & Tobago), Christian Karembeu (New Caledonia), Ioan Lupescu (Romania), Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan), Wynton Rufer (New Zealand), Richard Jobson (England, FIFPro), Andreas Rettig (Germany, DFL)

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