Spanish Footballers’ Association (AFE) and Portuguese Union of Professional Football Players (SJPF) partner with ICSS Europe at Securing Sport 2014

London, England, Oct 6, 2014: The Spanish Footballers’ Association (AFE) and Portuguese Union of Professional Football Players (SJPF) have today partnered with the ICSS to undertake a major project to protect and enhance the integrity of Portuguese and Spanish football.

Following a dynamic and high-profile panel at Securing Sport 2014 including Umberto Gandini (Vice President, European Clubs Association), Javier Tebas (President, Spanish La Liga) and Bobby Barnes (President, FIFPro / Deputy CEO of the English Professional Footballers Association), Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros (CEO, ICSS Europe) announced the partnerships which will see the ICSS work closely with two of Europe’s leading players unions to enhance the education, training and protection of young players.

As part of the collaboration, the ICSS, AFE and SJPF will also create special working groups that will seek to introduce innovative new frameworks on the financial integrity of football throughout Portugal and Spain.

Addressing a high-level audience of over 150 leaders, ministers, international experts and policy makers at Securing Sport 2014, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros (CEO, ICSS Europe) said:

“Sport is under threat and reform to address issues like third party ownership of players’ economic rights, club ownership and financial transparency in sport is now long overdue. As an independent and authoritative voice in sport, ICSS Europe and Latin America will show strong leadership in these areas. By partnering with two of the top players’ unions in Europe, we have today laid down a strong marker which signals the ICSS’s intent to be a leader in the battle to protect the financial integrity of sport.”

“These partnerships are an important stepping stone to ensuring a more sustainable and transparent financial future for football and sport as a whole. Going forward, it is important that sport now creates an environment for young athletes to flourish and one which empowers sports bodies around the world to become more accountable, transparent and financially sound.”

Luis Rubiales, AFE President, said: “This partnership with the ICSS signals an important moment for the AFE, as well as players and, I hope, for clubs, leagues and administrators throughout Spain.

“The special working groups that will be established as part of this agreement will draw upon the ICSS’s global expertise on sport integrity issues and will aim to drive best practice that will help to make Spanish football stronger in the future and help all parties involved to build a football full of values”

“I look forward to working closely with my friend Emanuel and the ICSS and demonstrating our commitment to protecting and educating young players, as well as ensuring the long-term viability of football throughout Spain.”

Joaquim Evangelista, SJPF President, said: “With many questions being asked about the financial integrity of football, this agreement with the ICSS signals the SJPF’s intent and commitment to confronting this issue.

“Educating and protecting young players is essential to the future of Portuguese football. To be working in partnership with a respected and authoritative organisation like the ICSS and Emanuel Medeiros will hopefully usher in a new era of financial transparency and sustainability for clubs and leagues around Portugal.”

As well as the partnerships with the AFE and SJPF, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros also announced that ICSS Europe will host a special, high-level forum that will bring together sports governing bodies, clubs, leagues and all key stakeholders, as well as the most relevant international public bodies, to address the topic in 2015.

Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros concluded:

“In order to properly address such a complex and diverse topic, ICSS Europe will also host a special forum to discuss and drive forward concrete action to enhance the financial integrity of sport. It is crucial that, in order to confront these threats, our approach is united, coordinated and global. Only by bringing together top leaders and international experts can we identify how we address the issues that threaten the rip out the heart and soul of sport.”

About the SJPF
The Portuguese Footballers’ Association was formed on February 23rd 1973 and looks after the rights and interests of the professional football players around Portugal.
Activities undertaken by the SJPF aim to achieve the protection and promotion the interest of its members, such as the contractual rights and guarantees, conditions of work, and the preservation of the dignity of all players in compliance with the fundamental principals of olimpism, in particular no discrimination of any basis rights.
SJPF provides its members legal assistance and services regarding their contracts with clubs, agents, financial claims against Portuguese as well as foreign clubs and in other matters related to the sporting activity of players. —- By: Will Shand

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