Football Australia has today sanctioned Melbourne Knights FC (the Club) under the National Code of Conduct and Ethics (the Code).
The determination relates to conduct that occurred at or in relation to the Club’s Australia Cup 2023 Quarter Final against Heidelberg United FC on Thursday, 14 September 2023 (the Match).
The Club were issued with a show cause notice and provided an opportunity to respond with respect to both the alleged infringements and, if applicable, the appropriate sanction.
Based on the material available, including, but not limited to, a range of relevant matters, including the Club’s submissions, reports from various stakeholders, the nature and seriousness of the matter, the need to deter such conduct in the future and the interests of Football Australia, the Australia Cup, and the football community more broadly.
After considering these matters, the Club has been issued with a $5,000 fine, with 50% of this fine suspended for the next three (3) iterations of the Australia Cup and will be triggered in the event that it is determined that the Club has breached the Code, with such a breach including at least conduct any of the following, being any conduct related to flares or incendiary devices, damage to property in relation to a match or the competition, or throwing of projectiles onto the field of play.
The Club has been advised that Football Australia is continuing investigations into several further matters that were identified in the initial show cause notice. Football Australia has reserved its rights in respect of these matters pending the outcome of such investigation.
In accordance with the Code the Club has seven (7) business days from the date of receipt of the determination notice notify Football Australia of its intention to appeal the sanction.
Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s continuous efforts to empower its Member Associations (MAs) reached a significant milestone when the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system was introduced to the AFC Champions League™ 2023/24 Group Stage matches for the first time earlier this week.
Implemented from the Knockout Stage since 2020, the 2023/2024 edition will mark the fourth instance of the AFC employing the use of the technology in the competition.
With several of the Confederation’s MAs, namely, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IR Iran), Philippines, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, embracing the technology for the first time, and Hong Kong, China set to implement VAR on 4 October, 2023, the total number of MAs who have adopted VAR in AFC Club Competitions since its introduction in the 2020 edition of the AFC Champions League™ now stands at 21.
Recognising the potential challenges that may arise in the process, the AFC has provided steadfast support to its MAs as they integrate the system successfully, thereby upholding its Vision and Mission of making football the number one sport throughout the Continent.
With the maximisation of the capabilities of its Members lying at the heart of the AFC's efforts, the Confederation lent its helping hand in various ways, including financing the installation of the VAR system in stadiums and organising multiple workshops and seminars, such as the AFC Football Technology Conference 2023, which allowed representatives from the AFC MAs to engage in knowledge-sharing exercises and enhance their understanding of VAR technology.
Similarly, the AFC also conducted several workshops for VAR Information Officers (VIOs) to ensure familiarity with the technology and its application. The VIOs were then deployed to assist in the implementation of VAR, particularly in regions where the system made its debut.
Moreover, the Confederation also partnered with several leading technology providers in order to offer solutions and guidelines on specific technical arrangements that are required for the seamless setting up of the VAR system in stadiums, in line with the rules and guidelines set by FIFA.
With the curtain coming down on the competition in its current form this season, the introduction of the VAR system from the Group Stage of the AFC’s marquee club competition marks yet another indication of the Confederation’s resolve in taking Asian football to even greater heights in the coming years.
Reading FC’s owner, Mr Yongge Dai, has been charged with misconduct after failing to comply with the order of an independent Disciplinary Commission which required him to deposit an amount equal to 125% of the Club’s forecast monthly wage bill in a designated account by 12 September.
The League considers these further proceedings against him personally are necessary given the repeated failings in meeting the Club’s funding requirements which have only a detrimental impact on the Club and its wider stakeholders.
This matter will now be considered by an independent Disciplinary Commission in accordance with EFL Regulations.
All-time high of 18,353 cases, applications and enquiries received
The Football Tribunal is part of FIFA’s ongoing commitment towards modernising the football regulatory framework and the FIFA dispute resolution system
Report highlights a series of landmark achievements and regulatory changes
FIFA has today published the second edition of the Football Tribunal Report, which covers the period from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of the Football Tribunal’s activities as well as those of the FIFA Players’ Status Department, which is part of the FIFA Legal & Compliance Division and acts as a secretariat to the Football Tribunal. During the period in question, the department received a record number of 18,353 cases, applications and enquiries, compared to 14,540 in the 2021/2022 period, with 2022/2023 representing a new all-time high for the Players’ Status Department.
The Football Tribunal, which is composed of three chambers: the Players’ Status Chamber, the Dispute Resolution Chamber and the Agents Chamber, was implemented on 1 October 2021 to consolidate the existing FIFA decision-making bodies into a single umbrella body.
As Emilio Garcia Silvero, FIFA Chief Legal and Compliance officer has iterated: “FIFA will continue to modernise its regulatory framework and dispute resolution system in line with its vision for 2020-2023 in order to further facilitate and streamline all proceedings before the decision making and judicial bodies, while maintaining the highest level of quality, transparency and traceability for all football stakeholders.”
In this context, since 1 May 2023, all proceedings before the Football Tribunal outside the FIFA Transfer Matching system are exclusively initiated and conducted through the FIFA Legal Portal which was launched a year earlier. The portal is a modern online platform that enables football stakeholders and legal representatives to lodge a claim and follow the relevant proceedings before the Football Tribunal in a fully digital, user-friendly environment.
The Football Tribunal Report 2022/2023 is available here and at www.fifa.com/legal.
The RFEF wishes to convey to the members of the National Team the public commitment made by the new leadership of the institution that governs football in Spain.
The objective is to clearly articulate, without internal or external interpretations, the strategic pillars in this new stage of the Federation that both football and society demand.
The Federation itself is aware of the need for structural changes, as already announced by the President of the Interim Commission, Pedro Rocha, and has begun to materialize them in recent times.
This conviction has led to difficult decisions in recent days that will continue to be made, as there is a firm belief that renewal is necessary.
In this regard, it is absolutely essential, to carry out these changes, to clarify each of the behaviors and actions that may have occurred and, therefore, act with professionalism and justice, determining the relevant responsibilities in each case.
It is evident that the Federation, society, and the players themselves are aligned with the same objective: the renewal and the beginning of a new phase where football is the main beneficiary of this entire process.
Hence, players are urged to join this change led by the Federation, understanding that the ongoing transformations must be robust and fair.
We guarantee a safe environment for the players and advocate for a climate of mutual trust so that we can work together and ensure that women's football continues to progress much stronger.
We must begin to proudly display the star that the players have achieved with so much effort.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has terminated its exclusive commercial partnership with Football Marketing Asia (FMA) with immediate effect.
The AFC's decision takes into careful consideration the new challenges and opportunities presented by the rapidly evolving post-pandemic commercial environment.
The now terminated commercial deal, which was signed in 2018, gave FMA (then known as DDMC Fortis) the exclusive rights to market the AFC’s commercial properties for the 2021-2028 cycles.
The end of the exclusive partnership with FMA enables the AFC to explore new opportunities and collaborations that are better aligned with the current conditions, while securing its financial future for the long-term success of Asian football.
The AFC is now in the process of appointing a new exclusive commercial partner for the 2023-2028 term with more details to be announced in due course.
FIFA has confirmed the worldwide extension of sanctions imposed on 11 players by the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) relating to incidents of match manipulation that took place in Brazilian football.
Following investigations by the Brazilian authorities and the disciplinary proceedings opened by the CBF, the following players have been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity:
Ygor de Oliveira Ferreira (lifetime ban)
Paulo Sérgio Marques Corrêa (600 days as of 26 May 2023)
Gabriel Ferreira Neris (lifetime ban)
Jonathan Doin (720 days as of 16 May 2023)
Fernando José da Cunha Neto (360 days as of 16 May 2023)
Eduardo Gabriel dos Santos Bauermann (360 days as of 16 May 2023)
Matheus Phillipe Coutinho (lifetime ban)
Mateus da Silva Duarte (600 days as of 26 May 2023)
André Luiz Guimarães Siqueira Junior (600 days as of 26 May 2023)
Onitlasi Junior Moraes (720 days as of 16 May 2023)
Kevin Joel Lomónaco (360 days as of 16 May 2023)
As a result of the sound and exemplary cooperation with the CBF and in line with article 70 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend all of the above-mentioned sanctions to have worldwide effect.
FIFA will continue its ongoing efforts to combat match manipulation through a variety of initiatives, which include the monitoring of international betting markets, the confidential FIFA Reporting Portal, the FIFA Integrity app, as well as several awareness and educational activities across the world.
UEFA and the European Club Association (ECA) have today signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that extends their cooperation until 2030. Building on a relationship which now spans over fifteen years, the new MoU will elevate their partnership to bolster long-term stability and sustainable growth in European club football.
At the heart of this agreement lies a full commitment to strengthen the core principles of the European football pyramid championed by fans across Europe. This includes the central role of UEFA as the European governing body and the open system of promotion and relegation that ultimately culminates in qualification for an open model of European competitions.
The revamped agreement aligns the cooperative efforts of both organisations with the evolving landscape of the men's and women’s international match calendar and the forthcoming structural changes to men's UEFA club competitions, effective from the 2024/25 season that will bring more opportunities for more clubs, but also for players and supporters alike, while keeping the pyramid open and democratic.
A central element of this agreement is the shared priority to nurture European club football at every level. This will manifest through a new revenue distribution model for the 2024-2027 cycle, boasting an unprecedented increase of solidarity payments that will benefit clubs in domestic league competitions.
The share reserved in the new cycle to clubs not participating in the league phase of UEFA competitions will increase to a total of 10%: besides the 3% reserved for clubs eliminated in the qualifying rounds, the share for clubs which have not participated at all will grow to 7%, (up from the current 4%), securing €440m per season – being €1.32bn over the cycle – in what is the sole redistribution scheme for clubs at a pan-European level. The new distribution system for participating clubs will give greater focus to participation (from 25% to 27,5% will be shared equally) and performance (from 30% to 37,5%), while the existing two pillars of market pool and coefficient will be merged and reduced (from 45% to 35%). Full details of the new system will be disclosed as soon as the technical work has concluded.
The MoU also captures the evolution of UEFA Club Competitions SA – the joint venture between UEFA and the ECA – to further drive the commercial development of UEFA’s club competitions.
The new agreement also mirrors the remarkable strides taken in the development of women’s football. UEFA and the ECA are united in their drive to enhance competitions, fostering the growth of the next generation of talented female players, and establishing the bedrock for a resilient and sustainable women's football ecosystem and business model.
Finally, the renewed MoU continues to prioritise critical issues such as environmental, social and corporate governance as well as financial sustainability to secure the overall well-being of European football.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said: "This new MoU builds upon the solid foundation of cooperation between UEFA and the ECA to enhance the open and values-based European football pyramid celebrated by fans worldwide. It will bring continuity, stability and healthy growth that will benefit every corner of Europe. I would like to thank the ECA Executive Board and its Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi for their efforts in making this renewed agreement become a reality. Our cooperation will strengthen European football, and we look forward to it resulting in the further development and success of the game."
ECA Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi said: “This renewed Memorandum of Understanding between ECA and UEFA until 2030 is fantastic news for all European clubs, and for everyone concerned with the stability and prosperity of European club football. The MoU formalises agreements between UEFA and ECA on a wide range of governance, representation, regulatory, financial and sporting matters and establishes solid foundations for the continued development of European club football.
“As the ECA family continues to rapidly multiply in size, representing clubs of all sizes in all corners of Europe, we very much look forward to our continued constructive, collaborative and trusted relationship with UEFA, ECA’s most important partner.”
This latest MoU reaffirms UEFA's steadfast commitment to democratic governance, building upon its earlier decision to incorporate the perspectives of players (via FIFPRO Europe) and fans (via Football Supporters Europe) alongside those of leagues and clubs in its decision-making process. This approach is aimed at nurturing an even more inclusive, resilient, and transparent governance framework for European football.
TO THE MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS OF FIFA
Circular no. 1856
Zurich, 1 September 2023
Anti-discrimination measures for the preliminary competition of the FIFA World Cup 2026™
Dear Sir or Madam,
Below you will find information regarding the anti-discrimination measures that apply for all qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup 2026™, and that require your active support, especially as a home member association. The information is structured as follows:
I. Procedure for discriminatory incidents (including the three-step procedure for referees)
II. Anti-discrimination monitoring system
III. Recommendations to support preventive measures of the participating member associations
We kindly ask you to carefully read the following instructions and inform the relevant departments in your association accordingly in order to ensure a diverse and discrimination-free competition.
I. Procedure for discriminatory incidents (including the three-step procedure for referees)
A. Safety and security measures
In general, the security personnel responsible for home matches must be informed of the measures in place to ensure respect for diversity and anti-discrimination. These could be instructions or discussions with spectators, as well as the removal of discriminatory banners and other items or of spectators from the stadium. We recommend the Fare network’s Global Guide to Discriminatory Practices in Football as a useful aid to identifying discriminatory behaviour: https://farenet.org/global-guide-to-discriminatory-practices-in-football.
B. Proactive pre-match stadium announcement
For the purpose of informing spectators, a stadium announcement text is available on the FIFA Competitions extranet which shall be read or broadcast as preventive measure before each match. The home association is responsible for ensuring implementation in the relevant languages.
C. Reactive stadium announcement without interrupting the match
FIFA provides you with a stadium announcement text on the FIFA Competitions extranet, which allows you to respond directly to discriminatory incidents during a match in the stadium (based on article 4 of the FIFA Statutes and article 15 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code), without interrupting the match. The fourth official informs the referee after every stadium announcement in response to an incident. The home association is responsible for ensuring implementation in the relevant languages.
In addition, FIFA also welcomes the use of your own event-related announcements or video clips responding to discriminatory incidents.
D. Three-step procedure
If the above measures are unsuccessful or if a sudden serious discriminatory incident occurs, the three-step procedure for referees will be applied, which FIFA has used for all its tournaments since the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017. The home association is responsible for providing the referee with operational support.
Following the three-step procedure, referees can, in the event of serious discriminatory incidents in the stadium:
1. stop the match (followed by a stadium announcement with the necessary explanation and request for the discriminatory incident to stop);
2. suspend the match by sending the players back to the changing room for an appropriate period of time (followed by a stadium announcement with the necessary explanation and request for the discriminatory incident to stop);
3. abandon the match (followed by a stadium announcement with the necessary explanation and request to leave the stadium in accordance with the instructions of the security personnel).
The detailed description of the steps in the three-step procedure and the operational responsibility of the home association can be found on the FIFA Competitions extranet.
The home association is responsible for ensuring implementation with regards to the involvement of their relevant functional areas and the display of stadium announcement in the relevant languages.
II. Anti-discrimination monitoring system
Based on the resolution of the 63rd FIFA Congress on the fight against racism and discrimination and the experiences of FIFA and the Fare network between 2015 and 2023 the anti-discrimination monitoring system became a robust and reliable tool to identify discriminatory incidents following article 4 of the FIFA Statutes and article 15 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. It supports disciplinary procedures through match reports including evidence material of possible discriminatory incidents. The anti-discrimination monitoring system will again be in place for the FIFA World Cup 2026™ preliminary competition (hereinafter “qualifiers”) and selected friendly matches.
The anti-discrimination monitoring system comprises:
1. assessment of all qualifying matches to identify risk matches in relation to possible discriminatory incidents;
2. deployment of anti-discrimination match observer/s (hereinafter: “observer”) at high risk matches in relation to possible discriminatory incidents;
3. match observation and reporting (including evidence material) to support the secretariat of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
B.1 Risk assessment
Identifying risk matches involves all forms of discrimination as mentioned in the FIFA Statutes and the FIFA Disciplinary Code, and includes the following match-specific evaluation criteria:
• previous discriminatory incidents at or after matches involving the participating teams/associations; 4
• known far-right and other xenophobic groups, including their football-related activities and supporter links in the countries of the participating teams/associations;
• tendency to commit acts of homophobia, other forms of LGBTQI+phobia or overt sexist abuse based on traditional chants or previous history;
• the historical context of the participating teams/associations in terms of tension or even violence (including in relation to specific sensitive events or days);
• troublesome relationships between the participating teams’/associations’ countries;
• any religious tension relating to the national identities of the participating teams/associations;
• current geopolitical crises in the countries of the participating teams/associations and in their region that could affect the spectators’ attitude;
• possible crowd dynamics during the match;
• the importance of the match in the context of the competition and the dynamics that could result from it.
Based on the risk assessment, all qualifiers and selected friendlies will be classified as follows:
• GREEN : for matches with a low risk of discriminatory incidents. No observer will be appointed.
• YELLOW : for matches with a medium risk of discriminatory incidents and for which media monitoring and other measures may be necessary. After submitting the risk assessment, FIFA and its service provider Fare network will continue to assess the temporary dynamics of yellow matches until match day and may change a yellow match into a red match. Otherwise, no observer will be appointed.
• RED : for matches with a high probability of discriminatory incidents and for which observers will be appointed.
B.2 Deployment of anti-discrimination match observers
An observer is appointed for each red match by the Fare network, except for those red matches where additional risk factors are in play and require the appointment of two observers. Fare network relies on a pool of trained observers, who are anti-discrimination experts assigned to specific regions and:
• understand the language including idiosyncrasies of the country/team they are appointed to observe;
• know the symbols and codes used in the country/local environment/fan culture;
• know the fan culture of the country/team/local environment;
• have an understanding of any wider social and (geo-)political issues at play
• have an understanding of the specific context of the words, expressions and chants used in the football context of the given country;
• are aware of article 4 of the FIFA Statutes and other relevant FIFA regulations;
• sign a code of conduct to guarantee their neutrality.
Fare network will submit the list of observers to FIFA aligned with the beginning of the regional qualifiers in the respective confederations and provide regular updates to that list. Fare network will store the confirmation that each observer has signed their code of conduct and completed the observer training.
Observers will work anonymously at matches to protect their identity for reasons of personal safety. Each observer is given a number by Fare network which will appear on the antidiscrimination match reports to identify him/her at a particular match. Their identity will only be shared with FIFA’s judicial bodies and/or CAS if required and if significant to the case. The identity of observers will not be disclosed to respondents or other parties to hearings (member associations etc.) and their representatives.
B.3 Delivery of match observation and reporting
The observer/s conduct/s pre-match research identifying potential pre-planned discriminatory displays by both teams’ followers. At the match itself, each observer shall observe and record evidence of any discriminatory incidents in the stadium or its immediate vicinity.
If discriminatory incidents are witnessed by an observer, he/she shall submit a special match report – written in English – to the Fare network after the match. This anti-discrimination match report shall describe the discriminatory incident(s) witnessed, specifying:
• where in the stadium (or in its immediate vicinity) the incident(s) took place;
• the exact time the incident(s) took place;
• which team the spectator/s causing the incident(s) was/were supporting;
• approximately how many spectators were involved.
The Fare network shall ensure that the anti-discrimination match report meets the following requirements:
• The report is submitted in English using the standard reporting form, and the observer has answered all questions on the form.
• If the incident contains any wording, this wording should be quoted in the original language used by the spectators as well as translated into English.
• The report documents the facts accurately and consistently, giving as full a picture as possible of the incidents.
• All reported incidents are supported by documentary evidence (such as photographs, videos or audio recordings).
• The report includes the observer’s number and the date of submission.
The Fare network shall correct any grammatical and formal errors.
Anti-discrimination match reports are not regarded as FIFA match officials’ reports within the meaning of art. 40 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
C. Disciplinary procedure
Immediately after reviewing the anti-discrimination match report, the secretariat of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee may request the FIFA Human Rights & Anti-Discrimination Department to provide an additional internal memo to provide background and additional information on a reported incident if it is deemed relevant.
Thereafter, the chair of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee will be responsible for deciding whether or not to open proceedings on the basis of the anti-discrimination match report, the FIFA Match Commissioner’s report, other evidence provided by third parties.
III. Recommendations to support preventive measures of the participating member associations
FIFA relies on the support of all participating member associations and their teams to ensure a discrimination-free environment during the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. For preventive preparation, see the FIFA Good Practice Guide on Diversity and Anti-Discrimination (circular no. 1632) for detailed guidance on your diversity and anti-discrimination work and examples of actions and initiatives:
We would like to thank you in advance for your support in the fight against discrimination during the qualifying matches of the FIFA World Cup 2026™ and in football around the world.
DE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
FIFPRO Europe, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA, England) and the Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels (UNFP, France) welcome UEFA’s decision not to apply the new guidelines around additional stoppage time to European competitions.
This decision shows UEFA have listened to the players and their unions.
"This is an excellent player-centric decision which will make a difference for footballers across Europe," said FIFPRO Europe President and UNFP Vice-President David Terrier. "The fruitful cooperation with UEFA underlines our shared commitment to enhancing player welfare.
“This collaborative approach fills us with confidence for the future relationship between UEFA, professional players, and their respective unions.”
PFA CEO and FIFPRO board member Maheta Molango said: “Player workload is the number one issue when I speak to members at clubs who will be competing for club and country. It is totally unsustainable. It’s clear they are having to make really difficult decisions about how to protect their own health and fitness.
“The comments from Zvonimir Boban [UEFA’s Chief of Football] show that he gets it. From his own experience he understands the player perspective and the fact that this is ultimately a player wellbeing issue. I will keep saying it – we can’t keep pushing the players until they break.”
FIFA and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are hoping to expand their existing partnership to cover climate change and gender equality in the future. The two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Bangkok, in November 2019, where they committed to join forces to leverage football as a catalyst for social development and healthy lifestyles in the region, and are now looking to extend it beyond 2024.
During the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Sports (SOMS-14), held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, FIFA Regional Director Asia & Oceania Sanjeevan Balasingam outlined the main achievements since 2019 and also the new areas that could be incorporated when the MoU comes up for renewal.
"In today's world, which is so divided, football unites the world. In this amazing region, it is extremely important for FIFA, as football's governing body, to work closely with ASEAN to ensure that football is a tool for unity," Mr Balasingam told the meeting. "Also, as a person from the region, the cause is close to my heart and FIFA looks to continue this strong collaboration with ASEAN."
Dr. Niwat Limsuknirun, Chair of SOMS-14, said: “I personally think that it could be beneficial to prioritise discussions on gender equality and climate change for inclusion in the next phase of ASEAN-FIFA MoU.
"This is particularly relevant for the ASEAN Sports Community and presents an opportunity to address global concerns. We will consult the relevant parties to seek advice regarding the possible renewal of the MOU and the expected new priorities,” added Dr Limsuknirum, who is Director General of the Department of Physical Education of Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
Education has been one of the key areas of co-operation and nine of the 10 ASEAN member states - Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - have signed up, or are in the process of signing up, for FIFA's Football For Schools program.
So far, 1,780,544 children have enrolled in the programme in ASEAN member states and 82,240 footballs have been distributed. From 2024 onwards, FIFA hopes that all 10 member states will be involved.
Health has been another focus. During the pandemic, FIFA and ASEAN collaborated on COVID-19 awareness-raising campaigns and the #FiveSteps programme which provided practical tips for citizens of ASEAN countries to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Meanwhile, the #BeActive campaign has promoted healthy lifestyles for all.
Sports integrity has been promoted, particularly anti-match manipulation where the translation of the FIFA Integrity e-Learning Tutorial into ASEAN languages (Malay, Khmer, Indonesian, Lao, Burmese, Thai and Vietnamese) has enhanced learning opportunities across the region.
For the renewal of the MoU, FIFA hopes to build on the success of the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ and have a gender equality as a new area on its own.
FIFA would also like to join forces with ASEAN to take proactive measures to mitigate the impact of climate change through football. Measures would include raising awareness on climate change, a focus on climate-proof sport infrastructure and climate resilient football development.
The FIFA U17 World Cup 2023™ will be hosted in the ASEAN region when it takes place in Indonesia in November and December, and a workshop will be organised on the sidelines of the tournament with the framework of the MoU. The workshop will cover safe sport, the promotion of sport integrity, stadium safety and security plus updates on Football For Schools.
After 15 months making a difference to the lives of refugees across Europe, ECA’s €1million Ukraine Relief Fund has delivered on its last round of projects. The ground-breaking fund was announced at the General Assembly in March 2022, by ECA Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, who said the seven-figure sum would be available to support clubs’ efforts in assisting the Ukrainian refugees, while many also offered to find a safe place for Ukrainian young football players.
ECA Chairman told clubs gathered in Vienna that football could be a positive social force to help the Ukrainian people.
Since then, 30 projects have benefited from the fund, which has been managed through an ECA Relief Committee chaired by ECA Vice-Chairman Dariusz Mioduski.
The third and final round of projects were:
- FC Shakhtar Donetsk
- FC Vast (Football Club Mykolaiv)
- FSC Mariupol
- MFC Metalurg
- Skoruk FC
Together this means a total of 24 clubs have been part of the innovative scheme, with clubs initially applying for donations of between €25,000 and €50,000. The aim has been to provide real and effective humanitarian and emergency actions to provide support and opportunities for the integration and development of refugees affected by the war.
ECA partnered with the UEFA Foundation for Children in order to implement this humanitarian project, in advance of establishing a dedicated ECA Foundation which is part of the Association’s future plans.
During the initial two rounds of the project, the ECA Ukraine Relief Fund demonstrated its dedication to creating tangible positive change in the lives of Ukrainian refugees. Through the support of the participating member clubs, a diverse range of projects were delivered, including in the four main areas highlighted below:
- Emergency Humanitarian Assistance: The fund facilitated the distribution of essential supplies, such as food, clean water, clothing, and medical aid, to affected communities. These efforts significantly contributed to easing immediate difficulties.
- Education and Skill Development: Recognising the significance of education in times of crisis, the fund supported initiatives that provided access to quality education and training for refugee children. These educational programmes aimed to empower individuals with knowledge and skills for a brighter future.
- Shelter and Infrastructure: The fund played an active role in the construction and renovation of shelters to provide safe living environments for displaced families.
- Psychosocial Support: Addressing the emotional and psychological impact of displacement, the fund supported therapy services, fostering emotional well-being among those affected.
Commenting on the allocation of the remaining funds to the clubs, Dariusz Mioduski, ECA Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the ECA Relief Committee, said:
“At ECA we are all engaged in assisting clubs and allowing them to continue their excellent work in supporting Ukrainian children and families displaced by this tragic war, started by the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The allocation of the remaining funds to the last five projects is the right moment for me to thank once again all the clubs and individuals involved for their dedication and hard work. In total thirty projects have benefitted from the ECA Ukraine Relief Fund and their work will continue.
“I would also like to thank my colleagues on the ECA Relief Committee for their time and support in delivering this important work. Thanks to their efforts we have been able to contribute and make a difference to those families and individuals whose lives have been so tragically affected by this conflict, which unfortunately is ongoing.”
The list of all the approved projects, including the ones from the third round, are:
- AC Sparta Praha
- AS Trencin
- Athletic Club
- Celtic FC
- FC Chikhura Sachkhere
- FC Shakhtar Donetsk
- FC Slovan Liberec
- FC Vast (Football Club Mykolaiv)
- FC Veres Rivne
- FC Zimbru
- FSC Mariupol
- GNK Dinamo Zagreb
- Heart of Midlothian FC
- Legia Warszawa
- Maccabi Haifa F.C
- MFC Metalurg
- Nõmme Kalju FC
- SJK Seinäjoki
- SK Slavia Praha
- SK Slovan Bratislava
- Skoruk FC
- Sporting Clube de Portugal
- Trabzonspor AS
- Wisla Kraków
The chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Jorge Ivan Palacio (Colombia), in use of the powers granted by article 51 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC), has decided today to provisionally suspend Mr. Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities at national and international level. This suspension, which will be effective as of today, is for an initial period of 90 days, pending the disciplinary proceedings opened against Mr. Luis Rubiales on Thursday, August 24.
Likewise, the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and in order to preserve, among other factors, the fundamental rights of the national soccer team player Ms. Jennifer Hermoso and the good order of the disciplinary proceedings before this disciplinary body, has issued two additional directives (article 7 FDC) by which he orders Mr. Luis Rubiales to refrain, through himself or third parties, from contacting or attempting to contact the professional player of the Spanish national football team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso or her close environment. Likewise, the RFEF and its officials or employees, directly or through third parties, are ordered to refrain from contacting the professional player of the Spanish national team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso and her close environment.
The decision adopted by the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has been communicated today to Mr. Luis Rubiales, the RFEF and UEFA for due compliance.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will not provide any further information on these disciplinary proceedings until a final decision has been taken.
FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respect the integrity of all persons and therefore condemns with the utmost vigour any behaviour to the contrary.
A year on from the EFL’s launch of the ‘Together’ strategy, the EFL's Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, David McCardle, has provided an update on the strategy and the impact it is having across the EFL and its Clubs.
Twelve months ago, the EFL launched its new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy to aid Clubs in taking steps on their EDI journey.
This month, we mark the one-year anniversary with the launch of a new short film highlighting the diverse nature of supporters across the League with the key message that we are Together for the love of the game. In addition, we have highlighted the good practice which has been undertaken by EFL Clubs throughout the 2022/23 season in conjunction with the Together Strategy.
‘Together’ set out a clear five-year vision for the EFL and its Clubs to reflect and represent the communities they serve.
Following the launch of the EFL Together strategy in August 2022, all 72 Clubs have made a contribution to breaking down barriers and improved their processes and outlooks, leading to sustainable change, which will allow greater diversity.
Involving 100 hours of consultations with Equality Stakeholders and 100 hours of Club Development meetings, the strategy has seen great success during the 2022/23 season.
Together comprises five pillars: Support, Educate, Communicate, Embed and Listen – all of which have been covered over the course of last campaign.
Last term saw the refreshed EFL Equality Code of Practice which was a key deliverable within the Together Strategy and will allow the opportunity for EFL Clubs to have a continued EDI journey.
Clubs throughout the EFL undertake the Code’s which assesses work, learning, development and commitment to EDI and provides a grade of Bronze, Silver or Gold after review. Throughout season 2022/23 the EFL supported each of its Clubs during the development phase in preparation for every Club being assessed during the 2023/24 season.
To support the creation of a League-wide diverse workforce, the EFL has also launched I-Recruit which is an anonymised recruitment tool for Clubs.
Across the EFL there are over 65 diverse fan groups, some of which have been established with support of Fans for Diversity. In addition, Clubs have also been supported in the establishment of a new Discrimination Reporting mechanism.
The EFL’s Inclusion Team – along with Stakeholders, EFL Clubs and Football Bodies – delivered 48 online webinars for EFL Clubs and EFL Staff to attend during the 2022/23 season. Clubs have completed over 6,500 collective hours of EDI Education, which exceeded the initial target of 1,000 collective hours each season for the next five seasons.
And in May 2023, a number of conferences to help support Clubs and to share best practice were held. All three conferences hosted over 100 delegates with guest speakers, Club and fan experiences in focus.
More recently, the EFL Together Advisory Panel has set progress in motion for a new panel which will act as a forum for advice, guiding the work of the EFL by providing advice of the highest possible quality on issues relating to Equality Diversity and Inclusion.
And the EFL and our Clubs are not finished in this journey. The hard work continues into the new season when all of the aforementioned tools and services will continue to support Clubs to make an impact and drive change.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee informed Luis Rubiales, President of the Spanish Football Association, today that it is opening disciplinary proceedings against him based on the events that occurred during the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ on 20 August 2023.
The events may constitute violations of article 13 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will only provide further information on these disciplinary proceedings once it has issued a final decision on the matter.
FIFA reiterates its unwavering commitment to respecting the integrity of all individuals and strongly condemns any behaviour to the contrary.
No suspicious betting or match‑manipulation threats identified during the 64 matches
Second successive edition of FIFA Women’s World Cup™ to have been monitored
Task force composed of members from expert organisations
The FIFA Women’s World Cup Integrity Task Force, which was established to safeguard the competition from match‑manipulation and integrity-related threats, has recently concluded its successful work in monitoring the betting markets and in‑game action in real time during all 64 matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™.
At its post-competition meeting held today, the task force concluded that no suspicious betting activities or match‑manipulation threats had been identified around any game that took place during the tournament. This was the second edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ to be monitored by the task force, which was launched ahead of the 2019 finals.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Integrity Task Force comprised representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, INTERPOL, the Council of Europe’s Group of Copenhagen, United Lotteries for Integrity in Sports, the International Betting Integrity Association, Sportradar, Sport Integrity Australia and the New Zealand Police.
During the competition, FIFA centralised the collection of information from betting monitoring reports based on market activity data from various jurisdictions, including law enforcement entities and physical surveillance at competition venues.
The monitoring of both the betting markets and in-game action in real time during all of the group- and knockout-stage matches through to the final, which was played on 20 August, found no match‑manipulation threats.
The collaborative effort between FIFA and key international stakeholders in the field of sports integrity ensured an experienced, coordinated and timely response – based on information and data – to any alert during the competition, with each participating stakeholder contributing their specific expertise (investigative and/or technical) throughout the tournament.
In parallel, FIFA continues to work with confederations, member associations and other integrity stakeholders in the fight against match manipulation. In line with its core objective to promote the integrity of football, FIFA takes the battle against match manipulation very seriously and any suspicious activities can be reported via its confidential, dedicated, highly secure and web-based whistle-blowing system.
Further details of FIFA’s integrity initiatives are available here.
In line with its commitment to improving the fan experience by harnessing technology and innovating in the digital and TV space, FIFA has invested in remote live production, cutting-edge data-driven insights and captivating behind-the-scenes content at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™.
“Innovation and sustainable technology are to the fore when it comes to our broadcast delivery at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino during a tour of the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Sydney.
“The IBC is the centre for video content from all venues in Australia and New Zealand, and for all 64 matches, we have been setting new standards in sports broadcasting thanks to our fully remote live match and non-live production,” the FIFA President added. “This innovation is a step forward from the men's FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and something new to sports on such a scale. This is also a new, more sustainable technological approach which has helped deliver the FIFA Women's World Cup to a global audience.”
In order to bridge the gap between analytics and entertainment and to improve the viewing experience for fans, FIFA has also engaged the concept of “datatainment", which seamlessly integrates advanced analytics with real-time graphics based on the official optical tracking data at each FIFA Women’s World Cup™ stadium. As an overlay on live feeds, “datatainment” provides fans with unparalleled insight and enjoyment, with several Media Rights Licensees having taken advantage of the technology during the tournament.
“Football is more than just a game; it's a passion that connects millions of fans worldwide. Together with our partners, we are redefining the fan experience by leveraging the power of data and technology to integrate analytics into an entertainment package, as well as offering fans new ways of consuming football through social media,” said FIFA’s Chief Business Officer, Romy Gai.
Responding to the growing trend in consuming candid, backstage moments, the tournament in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand has also seen digital-first coverage of every game. Captured in vertical video formats and from a unique perspective, the content allows fans following FIFA’s pages on social media to experience the raw emotion of players and fans filter-free. Such clips have also been distributed to broadcasters and tailored for their social media accounts, thereby providing unique coverage of the competition globally.
“Thanks to the collaboration with the participating teams we have access to exclusive content behind the scenes – on the pitch or in the locker room after the match, players have shown their willingness to produce unique content at the peak of their emotions in cooperation with our media rights licensees. We are thrilled to have used this ground-breaking tournament to bring these concepts to life and allow fans all over the world to further experience and share their excitement for the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” added Mr Gai.
An independent Regulatory Commission has imposed an action plan and £150,000 fine on Leeds United for misconduct in relation to crowd control that took place during the 20th minute of their game against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday 11 March.
Leeds United admitted that they failed to ensure their spectators conduct themselves in an orderly fashion and do not use words or otherwise behave in a way which is improper, offensive, abusive, indecent, or insulting with reference to sexual orientation.
FIFA and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have reinforced their joint-commitment to kicking crime out of football by renewing their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
Signed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly while both are in New York alongside the world leaders and influential global figures gathered at the United Nations (UN), the MoU commits both parties to stepping up their efforts to protect the integrity of the game.
Equally, safeguarding forms part of the MoU as it has become a core aspect of the joint-cooperation, and FIFA and UNODC will continue to work to ensure the football environment is protected for children, young adults, and vulnerable athletes, while also developing capacities and raise awareness of tackling corruption and crime in and through football. Additionally, both parties agreed to support the development of a new UNODC global network aimed at enhancing collaboration and coordination between law enforcement anti-corruption authorities and sports organisations.
"Football unites people from all corners of the world – young and old, boys and girls. It can promote healthy lifestyles, provide new opportunities, and inspire millions to achieve their goals both on and off the pitch,” said Ms Waly.
“I am proud that UNODC and FIFA are renewing our commitment to ensure fair play for all and to defend football’s integrity for the millions of fans worldwide, the players, and the next generations still to come. With this new Memorandum of Understanding, we’re striving to put an end to match-fixing, bribery, and corruption, to preserve the game’s beauty for all," stated Ms Waly.
Mr Infantino said: “Through the renewal of this Memorandum of Understanding, I am pleased that UNODC and FIFA have reinforced our joint commitment to kicking crime out of football, and that both organisations remain committed to ensuring fair play and to defending football’s integrity.
“FIFA has already done a lot of good work with the UNODC in making football cleaner and we will continue to work towards giving girls and boys around the world the chance to fulfil their dreams on the pitch.”
Gillingham have been fined £12,500 and ordered to implement an action plan after admitting misconduct in relation to crowd control for incidents at three separate EFL League Two games during the 2022/23 season.
The club failed to ensure that its spectators and/or supporters – and anyone purporting to be its supporters or followers – conduct themselves in an orderly fashion at its game against Colchester United on 26 December 2022, and don’t use words or behaviour that are improper, offensive, abusive, indecent, or insulting with either express or implied reference to race, colour or ethnic origin.
The club also failed to ensure that its spectators and/or supporters – and anyone purporting to be its supporters or followers – conduct themselves in an orderly fashion during its match against Sutton United on 29 December 2022, and don’t use words or behaviour that are improper, offensive, abusive, indecent, or insulting with either express or implied reference to gender.
Finally, the club failed to ensure that its spectators and/or supporters – and anyone purporting to be its supporters or followers – conduct themselves in an orderly fashion at its game against AFC Wimbledon on 25 February 2023, and don’t use words or behaviour that are improper, offensive, abusive, indecent, or insulting with either express or implied reference to gender.
An independent Regulatory Commission imposed the club’s sanctions following a hearing, and its written reasons for them can be seen below.
We welcome the passing of the Online Safety Bill and are pleased that English football has played a prominent role in the development of this legislation.
It is a significant moment for those who participate in the game as the Bill will hold social media companies to account and we look forward to working closely with Ofcom on its implementation.
We encourage the government to ensure that Ofcom and law enforcement are fully equipped to challenge social media companies if they fail to protect their users.
But social media companies don’t need to wait. They can introduce better tools right now so that users have a better experience, free from unwanted and damaging discrimination.
- 18 September marks International Equal Pay Day, raising awareness about unequal pay to women and pushing to close the gender pay gap
- FIFPRO, members unions and women’s internationals helped secure equal regulations and conditions, and a fair redistribution of prize money for Women’s World Cup players
- While the first step on the pathway to equality has been taken, for many players the fight for fair and timely payment has just begun
On UN Equal Pay Day, FIFPRO reaffirms its commitment to fighting alongside women all over the world to ensure there is equal pay for equal work.
The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup was a breakthrough on the pathway to equality, with the introduction of per-player performance-based prize money and equal conditions.
Ahead of the Women’s World Cup FIFPRO, its member unions, and 150 international footballers from 25 countries stood united in the largest piece of collective action undertaken in women’s football which helped secure equal regulations and conditions, fair redistribution of prize money to players, and a pathway to equal prize money at the tournament.
The collective action achieved:
1) Player prize money allocation
Each individual player at the Women's World Cup was allocated performance-based funding. Every player at Australia/New Zealand earned at least USD 30,000, with players from the winning team each receiving USD 270,000.
2) Equal conditions
The conditions and service levels offered to each team at the 2023 Women’s World Cup were identical to those at the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar.
- The delegation size for all PMAs was set at up to 50 people;
- Each delegation had the option of accommodating players in single or twin rooms, or a combination of both, according to their preferences;
- Identical processes to men's World Cup for class of international travel, level of in-competition domestic travel, implementation of team base camp concepts, and standard of accommodation were in place.
3) Increased prize money
In addition to doubling to USD 31m the preparation funding already distributed to all PMAs, an additional total pot of USD 110m was allocated to the Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 that was distributed to teams on the basis of team performance at the tournament.
The path to equal pay
While the first step on the pathway to equality has been taken, for many players the fight for fair, timely payment has just begun.
That is why, on this UN Equal Pay Day, we celebrate the achievements and progress made, but more importantly we focus on what is ahead – pay equity for the men’s and Women’s World Cup in 2026 and 2027, and continuing to raise the floor for players globally.
What the players said
Alex Morgan (USA): “I'll continue to challenge the systemic norms that exist today, so that we do have an equal seat at the table – and part of that is the working conditions for the World Cup. As the women's game grows, as accessibility and visibility grows, and as our fan base grows, we do expect to see the result of that – which is better working conditions, more compensation. That’s a big piece of it, but we need to start somewhere.”
Lucy Bronze (England): “In every single country in the world, there's still something missing or something that could be done a lot better. The fact we've got that collective goal means that together we feel that common goal – and everybody knows that strength comes in numbers. When we inspire each other, the voice becomes louder."
Ali Riley (New Zealand): "I believe that we as women’s players deserve the same conditions as our male counterparts – and we're working hard to prove that. Having equal pay at the World Cup would be one step in the right direction."
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is pleased to announce the Asia Football Group (AFG) as its new exclusive commercial partner for the 2023-2028 term with immediate effect in a strategic decision to further solidify and enhance the Confederation’s financial sustainability.
The Dubai-registered AFG have been selected as the dedicated partner for the AFC to achieve its ambitions and drive the sport's growing commercial success across the world, with the partnership enabling the Confederation to secure its financial future and set the stage for the continued growth and development of football in Asia.
The new commercial arrangement with AFG has been put in place after the evaluation and consideration of proposals from potential partners, with the AFC Executive Committee concluding that AFG’s expertise and vision not only align with the AFC’s wider objectives, but also ensure the continuity of service during this period to the AFC, its commercial partners and football stakeholders.
AFG are an integrated sports marketing agency highly experienced in delivering the full spectrum of services and achieving various business outputs, reinforcing the assurance of a smooth transition from the AFC’s previous commercial partners.
The new commercial deal enables the AFC to continue its investment into its Member Associations and Regional Associations, deliver all its popular competitions, grow its fanbase, and cultivate a flourishing football community across the Continent.
The AFC looks forward to a fruitful collaboration with AFG in the confidence that the partnership will take the game to new heights, continuing the Asian football success story.
The UEFA Football Board met at the House of European Football in Nyon on Monday to engage in constructive discussions on a variety of topics related to women’s football, ranging from strategy and refereeing to the match calendar, competitions and player welfare.
The meeting kicked off with a presentation about UEFA’s women’s football activities and initiatives highlighted by attendance records broken across the continent by clubs and national teams as well as the increased investments made in Europe over the past seasons.
The Board then discussed the post-24 UEFA Women’s Football Strategy where it was recommended to increase initiatives encouraging greater representation in leadership positions within football, new competition opportunities, player protection, improved academy structures as well as increased support for small and medium-sized national associations.
The Board also discussed refereeing matters such as VAR, handball offences, player and coach behaviour and the new UEFA “Be a Referee!” campaign followed by competitions and match calendar matters. The Board conveyed the need for greater consideration of players needs and open dialogue on the match calendar, competition scheduling and calculation of stoppage time, which adds additional burden to an already heavy workload on the players. The Board also expressed their appreciation and satisfaction with the new UEFA women’s national team competition system and provided feedback on the current state and the evolution of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
The meeting concluded with medical discussions focused on the effects of the menstrual cycle on player performance and recovery, head injury prevention and education as well as on anterior cruciate ligament injury prevention and treatment.
The meeting was attended by Verónica Boquete, Marissa Callaghan, Karen Carney, Jovana Damnjanović, Jonas Eidevall, Magdalena Eriksson, Laura Georges, Gemma Grainger, Ada Hegerberg, Pernille Harder, Josephine Henning, Eugénie Le Sommer, Carolina Morace, Francisco Neto, Alexia Putellas, Lotta Schelin, Viktoria Schnaderbeck, Tessa Wullaert and Leah Williamson.
Nadine Kessler, UEFA Managing Director of Women’s Football, said: “Bringing together some of the greats of our game to discuss the successes, challenges and opportunities facing our sport was a necessary step. We listened to them carefully. And I truly loved the open spirit and constructive debate. Their ideas, without any doubt, will lead to an even better European football landscape. I want to thank them all for their time."
Verónica Boquete said: “This is a group with expertise, they really know our competitions, our problems, our weaknesses and our strengths so it’s great to be able to share in that. We want to help be part of the improvement of the system and the organisation and bring new ideas. I already think UEFA is doing a great job but if I can do something to help that is great.”
Karen Carney said: “Everything is moving really fast but we have to build the sport on a solid foundation. Today has been getting people together to understand that there are so many countries and everyone is at different parts in their evolution of women’s football, so to understand and hear everyone’s side is really important because we all want the same thing.”
New fund to assist former players, and their families, who have been impacted by dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions
The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) have announced the creation of a new fund, supported by the Premier League, to assist former players, and their families, who have been impacted by dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions.
An initial amount of £1million will be made available immediately to provide discretionary financial support to former players and their families to help improve their quality of life. The fund will be in place whilst the PFA and Premier League seek to establish a charity involving other football stakeholders as the longer-term vehicle for support.
Former professional footballers who have been members of the PFA and have a diagnosed neurodegenerative disease, will be able to make applications for financial support. These will then be assessed by a newly established, independent panel.
The panel, which includes senior sectoral experts with experience in neurology, nursing and social care, will be led by Steve Jamieson, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. He is also a Trustee of Dementia UK and Chair of Dementia UK Admiral Nurses Clinical Committee.
The PFA’s established Brain Health team will continue to act as a central point of contact for former players and their families to access support and advice, including those seeking guidance on how to apply for financial support through the fund.
However, the establishment of the expert panel will ensure that decisions regarding financial assistance are made independently of the football authorities and against informed and established criteria.
The new fund is designed to provide a transparent and streamlined process through which those seeking help can apply for financial assistance, while also ensuring they receive personal contact and advice on broader support which may also be available to them.
'An important step forward'
Maheta Molango, Chief Executive of the PFA, said: “This is an important step forward in the way football provides practical support to former players who develop dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions.
“It’s an issue where, in all areas, we continue to believe there needs to be a football-wide responsibility. That includes providing access to financial support for former players and the families who most need it.
“The Premier League deserve credit for the proactive way in which they have approached these discussions. Obviously, we hope that other stakeholders in the game will choose to contribute to the Fund going forward.
“There is much that still needs to be done, but this is a positive development which will provide help to former players and their families, and which demonstrates how football has to work together on this issue.”
Richard Masters, Chief Executive of the Premier League, said: “The welfare and care of players has always been a priority for the Premier League, and we feel it is important to offer our support to this newly established brain health fund.
“The fund builds on our long-standing partnership with the PFA and strengthens our collective support for former players facing health challenges.”
Millwall's head of youth recruitment, Barry Dunn, has been suspended from all football and football related activity for eight weeks with immediate effect, fined £525, ordered to attend a mandatory face-to-face education programme and has received a reprimand and warning as to his future conduct, for a breach of misconduct in relation to social media activity.
It was alleged that he interacted with a social media post that is insulting and/or indecent and/or improper contrary to FA Rule E3.1.
It was further alleged this activity constitutes an 'aggravated breach', which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as the post included a reference - whether express or implied - to religion or belief.
Barry Dunn admitted the charge and his sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent Regulatory Commission following a personal hearing.
Cambridge United FC has received a total fine of £12,000, of which £1,000 is suspended, after admitting multiple breaches of EFL Regulations for the naming of an ineligible player on a Team Sheet and the submission of a backdated document.
The League has also issued a written warning to a Club employee who was also deemed to be in breach of EFL Regulations.
The suspended fine will be activated if the Club fails to register a player in accordance with the Regulations who features on a Team Sheet in any competition organised by the League before 30 June 2024.
The sanction was imposed in accordance with the terms of an ‘Agreed Decision’ which has formally been ratified by an Independent Disciplinary Commission Chair as per the requirements of EFL Regulations.
Cambridge United FC will also pay the associated costs of ratification of the Agreed Decision and the costs of the League (to be assessed if not agreed).
The Agreed Decision can be found here.
TO THE MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS OF FIFA
Circular no. 1855
Zurich, 28 August 2023
Lifting of the suspension of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL)
Dear Sir or Madam,
We would like to inform you that, based on the decision taken by the Bureau of the FIFA Council on 27 August 2023, the suspension of the FFSL has been lifted with immediate effect.
In view of the above, all of the FFSL’s membership rights as defined in article 13 of the FIFA Statutes have been reinstated with immediate effect. Consequently, the FFSL’s representative and club teams are again entitled to take part in international competitions. This also means that FFSL members and officials may benefit from development programmes, courses and training provided by FIFA and/or the AFC. Moreover, FIFA member associations may again enter into sporting contact with the FFSL and/or its teams.
Thank you for taking note of the above.
As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance its anti-doping and integrity initiatives, Concacaf is collaborating with FIFA to intensify its anti-doping efforts within the Confederation’s competitions.
In addition to educational programs, the frequency and volume of testing has increased in 2023 compared to previous years and can be expected to continue to grow in 2024.
2023 has already seen Concacaf implement a new program of doping controls at various major international and club tournaments, including the recently completed 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League Finals, 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup and the 2023 Concacaf Central American Cup, which is currently underway. The 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League and future competitions will also include these new anti-doping provisions.
“Working hand in hand with FIFA, we continue to expand the Confederation's anti-doping program and prioritize integrity and fair play in our game,” said Concacaf Director of Competitions Carlos Fernandez.
“Our joint efforts, including education programs for players and staff and additional testing before and during tournaments, will contribute to Concacaf football's ongoing growth, professionalism, and success.” concluded Fernandez.
TO THE MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS OF FIFA
Circular no. 1854
Zurich, 24 August 2023
FIFA Women’s Football Member Associations Survey Report 2023
Dear Sir or Madam,
As part of The Vision 2020-2023, FIFA is working hand in hand with its member associations to further accelerate the growth of women’s football on and off the pitch.
In order to measure the progress of women’s football around the world, by means of circular no. 1832 dated 31 January 2023 FIFA invited all member associations to complete a survey on their women’s football landscape and provide information across different areas.
As a result of this process, FIFA is pleased to share with you the enclosed FIFA Women’s Football Member Associations Survey Report 2023. By getting access to and analysing the data of women's football globally, FIFA, the confederations, the member associations and the football stakeholders will be more equipped to make informed decisions on how to further accelerate the growth of the women's game and achieve the goals set within the FIFA Women's Football Strategy launched in 2018.
We look forward to keep working with you to further accelerate the growth of women’s football all over the globe.
DE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
FIFPRO fully endorses the statement of Spanish player union AFE in calling for immediate action to address the conduct of Spanish federation president Luis Rubiales and is calling for investigation of his actions under FIFA’s code of ethics.
We reiterate that it was deeply lamentable that such a special moment for the players of the Spain national team taking place before a global television audience should be stained by the inappropriate conduct of an individual in a role carrying so much responsibility.
Uninitiated and uninvited physical approaches towards players are not appropriate or acceptable in any context, and especially not when they are put in a position of vulnerability by a person who holds a position of power over them in their workplace.
Morecambe FC has received a three-point deduction to be suspended until 30 June 2024 after admitting a breach of EFL Regulations for failing to pay its player wages on or around 28 March 2023.
The Club’s ultimate beneficial owner will also be required to deposit an amount equal to 125% of the forecast monthly wage bill - for all staff across the football club - in a designated Club account, which may be called upon by the Club should there be any future delays in processing wage payments.
The suspended sanction will take effect if the payment is not made by the owners of the Club to the Club Deposit Account as per the terms of with the Agreed Decision or there is any failure to pay its players on time until 30 June 2024.
The sanction was imposed in accordance with the terms of an ‘Agreed Decision’ which has formally been ratified by an Independent Disciplinary Commission Chair as per the requirements of EFL Regulations.
Morecambe FC will also pay the associated costs of ratification of the Agreed Decision.
The Agreed Decision can be found here.
Following the extremely serious incidents which occurred ahead of the postponed UEFA Champions League third qualifying round match between AEK Athens and GNK Dinamo Zagreb initially scheduled for 9 August 2023, in Athens, and which resulted in the death of a Greek national, UEFA has decided that fans of GNK Dinamo will not be allowed to attend any away matches as a minimum for the remainder of the 2023/24 season of UEFA club competitions.
Following an assessment made by UEFA, all matches involving visiting GNK Dinamo supporters are considered to be high risk and this was unfortunately confirmed by the extreme gravity of incidents due to the presence in Athens of GNK Dinamo supporters, in spite of the decision not to provide them with tickets for the match in question. It was also highlighted in the report containing information on the incidents provided by the Greek authorities to UEFA.
GNK Dinamo are furthermore requested, in conjunction with the relevant political, public security and football authorities in Croatia, to devise and implement a strategy to eradicate football related violence associated with their club. UEFA expects to receive a report in due course from the club, with detail of the action plan drawn up to address this significant problem.
While GNK Dinamo and their respective opponents must do their utmost to prevent GNK Dinamo supporters from travelling, visiting teams travelling to Croatia may continue to receive their full allocation of tickets and GNK Dinamo and the relevant public authorities must take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of visiting supporters.
UEFA will inform directly the competent authorities of the host countries/cities of this measure.
Gianni Infantino has said that the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ has transformed the face of women's football and appealed to governments, member associations, broadcasters and media to help keep the momentum going towards equality once the tournament ends on Sunday.
Speaking at the opening of the Second FIFA Women's Football Convention in Sydney, the FIFA President thanked Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand for co-hosting "simply the best and greatest and biggest FIFA Women's World Cup ever".
"This FIFA Women's World Cup has been truly transformational, not only in Australia and New Zealand but all over the world," he said. "In the host countries, we had almost two million spectators in the stadiums -- full houses everywhere -- and two billion watching all over the world --- and not just watching their own country but watching the World Cup, because it’s an event [where] I don’t just watch my team . It's great sport, it's entertaining and people love it."
"We have to thank and congratulate Australia and New Zealand because without them this would not have been as magical."
Australia’s Minister for Sport Anika Wells echoed the FIFA President’s comment. “While this is almost the end for this [FIFA] Women’s World Cup, it is only the start of a new era for sport in Australia. The sleeping giant has awoken,” she said. “In Australia, this FIFA Women’s World Cup has not just changed women’s football; it has changed women’s sport. Australia is now a football country.
“I want to thank FIFA for what you have done to accelerate the pursuit of gender equality in our country.”
The FIFA President said there was still much to do and urged FIFA’s partners to contribute. "We need everyone. We need the UN agencies, who have been very helpful to us in this World Cup, participating with us. We need the governments, we need the institutions, to create dedicated spaces for women, and for women’s sport and women’s football in particular, of course. We need the partners, the sponsors to pay a fair price. We need the media,” Mr Infantino said.
He asked broadcasters “to pay a fair price for women's football, not just for the (FIFA Women’s) World Cup, but for women's football in general, in all the countries, all the leagues, in all the competitions”.
The FIFA President urged FIFA's member associations to ensure that they organise women’s leagues, pointing out that some of the players who had starred at the tournament would not have any competitive football to go home to.
"(Female players) cannot all go to play in a few clubs in Europe or the USA. We need in the next four years to create the conditions for them to be able to play at professional level at home and this is the biggest challenge we have to take on board," he said.
Mr Infantino added that the tournament's success had supported the decision to enlarge the tournament from 24 to 32 teams. "FIFA was right," he said. "By increasing number of teams, we had eight debutants, we had many countries who suddenly realised they had a chance to participate. Now, everyone has a chance to shine on the global stage."
The tournament had showed that standards were rising while the tournament had generated USD 570 million, allowing it to break even, he said.
In concluding, the FIFA President also appealed to the assembled audience to act at all levels: "We have to start treating women and men in the same way. I say to all the women that you have the power to change. With FIFA, you will find open doors, just push the doors, they are open. And do it at national level in every country, at continental level in every confederation, just keep pushing, keep the momentum going, keep dreaming and let’s really go for a full equality."
- Report released with guidelines and mitigation strategies for hot conditions in professional football
- Series of studies show national team players unanimously agreed that hot and humid conditions made performance difficult during matches
- Eleven 'Hot Tips' that should be considered by governing bodies, competition organisers, and more to better protect players’ health
FIFPRO has released a report with guidelines and mitigation strategies for hot conditions in professional football.
Following several high-profile international competitions played in hot conditions, a series of cross-sectional studies showed that national team players and managers unanimously agreed that hot and humid conditions made performance difficult during these matches.
The report contains 11 ‘Hot Tips’ that should be considered by governing bodies, competition organisers, clubs, staff members and players to better protect players’ health.
“The human body maintains a constant core temperature that usually ranges from 36.1°C to 37.8°C – and in extreme heat, players are at risk of suffering from heat-stress disorders such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat strokes,” said FIFPRO’s Chief Medical Officer Prof Dr Vincent Gouttebarge.
“To prevent or mitigate this risk and thus to protect players’ performance and health, better guidelines relying on the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), or on the ambient temperature, should be implemented and enforced.”
FIFPRO’s position on extreme heat
At present, FIFA guidelines state that if there is a WGBT of more than 32°C (89.6°F) cooling breaks are mandatory in both halves of a match, around the 30th minute and 75th minute. The decision on whether to suspend or cancel the match is at the discretion of competition organisers.
FIFPRO believes that these guidelines do not do enough to protect the health and performance of players and recommend among other things that if there is a WBGT between 28-32°C, cooling breaks should take place around the 30th minute and 75th minute. If there is a WBGT of more than 32°C, training and matches should be rescheduled.
FIFPRO’s 11 Hot Tips
- Heat guidelines should be adopted and respected by football stakeholders, clubs and national teams for matches and training and embedded within regulations (e.g., minimum medical requirements, laws of the games, collective bargaining agreement for national competitions; FIFA competition regulations, social dialogue).
- Heat guidelines should refer to thresholds for WBGT (especially in elite professional football) and ambient (in case a WBGT measurement device is unavailable) temperature to increase their understanding and global implementation across all levels of professional football.
- A WBGT above 26°C (or ambient temperature above 30°C) should warrant cooling breaks during matches (e.g., at approximately 30 minutes in each half of a match).
- A WBGT above 28°C (or ambient temperature above 36°C) should lead to the delay or postponement of matches until conditions for players and officials (and fans) are safer.
- WBGT (and/or ambient temperature) should be measured on-site before each match and training session (e.g., two hours), and consultation between key stakeholders (e.g., players, coaches, match officials, team physicians) about potential risks should occur.
- National and local weather forecasts should monitor the weather conditions (e.g., at least five days before each match) and estimate potential hot conditions to schedule matches (and training) optimally and provide players with a safe environment.
- Next to additional cooling breaks, other mitigation strategies (e.g., heat acclimation/acclimatisation, cooling methods, easy availability of cool drinks all around the football field) should be planned and used for matches and training, with responsibility for their implementation resting with teams and individuals involved.
- Stakeholders (international, continental, national) and television broadcasting companies should not schedule matches at the hottest time of day, that means avoiding mid-day or afternoon matches (i.e., full sunshine) where high WBGT is most likely.
- A (inter)national registry of heat-related collapses and/or deaths should be developed to assess their prevalence, explore the underlying contributing factors, and improve existing guidelines and mitigation strategies.
- While players’ responses (e.g., physiological, cognitive) when exercising in hot conditions have been extensively studied, more research is needed to understand (i) how thresholds (WBGT and/or ambient temperature) in heat guidelines could evolve, (ii) how mitigation strategies, including potential modification of the laws of the game and heat acclimation/acclimatisation, could be optimally implemented and enforced in practice, and (iii) how new technologies might enable the assessment of personal factors (e.g., metabolic rate, thermoregulatory function) and contribute to the prediction of the risk of heat-related illnesses.
- Particular attention should be given to female and youth players with regard to individual responses when exercising in hot conditions or when it comes to avoiding television broadcasts of their matches at mid-day or in the afternoon (i.e., full sunshine).