MIAMI, Fla. (8 April 2020) —
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) held a teleconference this week with members of the Spanish Footballers’ Association (Asociación de Futbolistas Españoles, “AFE”) and LaLiga.
The RFEF has been opposed to the idea of playing matches every 48 hours if and when the 2019/20 season can be resumed. The AFE, for its part, has accepted a minimum space between games of 72 hours, going back on a previous agreement with LaLiga
Luis Rubiales, President of the RFEF, made it clear in the monitoring committee that the health conditions for soccer players is “non-negotiable.”
“The RFEF has managed to commit the AFE to playing at least every 72 hours,” an RFEF statement read.
Given that the RFEF rejected the notion of footballers playing every 48 hours, the AFE had no choice but to accept that the minimum will be every 72 hours.
Alluding to the health conditions of the players, the RFEF made it clear in its statement that “The Federation thus puts the players’ health above the competition. In addition, during the months of May, June, July and August, it will pay special attention to the hosting of matches in severe heat, solar radiation and humidity which work against the health of the players.”
AFE’s position on contracts
In an ongoing potential legal stumbling block to completing the season, both in Spain and across Europe, the issue of contracts was once again raised.
The AFE claims it felt attacked at this meeting. On the topic of prolonging contracts beyond June 30, the AFE stated it “defends the individual right of the worker.” Going one step further in the discussion, the AFE made it clear its position: “There are individual rights of the workers that will have to be respected unless agreed between the relevant parties.”
“FIFA has no legal competence in labour relations between clubs and football players.”
“FIFA no tiene competencia legal en las relaciones laborales entre clubes y futbolistas.”Asociación de Futbolistas Españoles
This conversation comes up in the context of the expectation that FIFA will announce its position on contracts that expire on June 30, as part of its efforts, along with UEFA, to allow leagues to conclude their seasons. The AFE, through its statment, is taking the position, at least for now, that FIFA cannot dictate the terms of contracts executed between a player and his club.
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