The Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels (transl. International Federation of Professional Footballers), generally referred to as FIFPRO, is the worldwide representative organisation for 65,000 professional footballers.[2] FIFPRO, with its global headquarters in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, is made up of 66 national players' associations. In addition, there are four candidate members. Lionel Messi has the most ever appearances in the FIFA FIFPRO World 11 with 17 overall, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo with 15.[3]

FIFPRO World Players' Union
Formation15 December 1965; 58 years ago (1965-12-15)
TypeProfessional football player organisation
Region served
66 full members[1]
Official language
English, French, Spanish



On 15 December 1965, representatives of the French, Scottish, English, Italian and Dutch players' associations met in Paris, with the objective of setting up an international federation for footballers. In the second half of June 1966, the first FIFPRO congress took place in London, just before the start of the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The articles of association of FIFPRO were thereby adopted and the objectives accurately laid down. FIFPRO was responsible for increasing the solidarity between professional footballers and players' associations.

It was originally laid down that a congress would be held once every four years at a minimum. The latest congress was in Uruguay in October 2022.[4]

FIFPRO has grown from a European organisation into a global network and has done much to support countries on other continents – Asia/Oceania, Africa, and North, Central and South America – in their efforts to set up players' associations.

FIFPRO tried to offer the players' associations or other interest associations the means for mutual consultation and co-operation to achieve their objectives. In addition, it wished to co-ordinate the activities of the different affiliated groups in order to promote the interests of all professional footballers. Indeed, FIFPRO likewise had in mind propagating and defending the rights of professional footballers. The emphasis was thereby laid on the freedom of the football player to be able to choose the club of his choice at the end of his contract. FIFPRO supported Belgian footballer Jean-Marc Bosman in his judicial challenge of the football transfer rules which led to the Bosman ruling in 1995.[5]

In 2013, FIFPRO launched a legal challenge against the transfer system.[6][7][8][9] Phillipe Piat, the FIFPRO president at the time, said "the transfer system fails 99% of players around the world, it fails football as an industry and it fails the world's most beloved game". According to the President of FIFPRO Division Europe Bobby Barnes, 28% of the money from a transfer fee is paid to agents,[7] and many players are not paid on time or at all.[7][8] He claims this leads to these players being "vulnerable targets of crime syndicates, who instigate match-fixing and threaten the very existence of credible football competitions".[6] Writing for the BBC, Matt Slater said "professional footballers do not enjoy the same freedoms that almost every other EU worker does",[9] and that "players look at US sport, and wonder why their career prospects are still constrained by transfer fees and compensation costs".

In recent years, FIFPRO has established itself as a leading reference in the football industry through player surveys and research into concussion,[10] mental health,[11] social media abuse,[12] player workload monitoring,[13] and more.

FIFPRO looks into securing a safe workspace for players, promoting their rights as ordinary workers. FIFPRO introduced new regulations to protect the rights of current and prospective mothers. These minimum conditions, agreed upon by FIFA and other governing bodies, offer women more job security and came into effect on 1 January 2021.[14]

In the last five years, FIFPRO has repeatedly intervened to protect and enforce the rights of players to participate in an environment free from sexual misconduct, harassment, and abuse.[15] FIFPRO is a firm advocate of ensuring that all people, including players, should be guaranteed and protected by human rights. In 2021, FIFPRO played an active role in the group evacuation of women's footballers and athletes from Afghanistan.[16]

Current board


FIFPRO’s member unions in June 2024 approved by an overwhelming majority governance recommendations to enhance the global representation of professional footballers following a review by management consultancy Oliver Wyman.[17] An interim global board was elected, who will serve until November 2024 when a 12-person board will be elected at a General Assembly.[18]

  • Interim Board: Magnus Erlingmark (Sweden), Kathryn Gill (Australia), Maheta Molango (England), Sergio Marchi (Argentina), Geremie Njitap (Cameroon), Stefano Sartori (Italy), Alejandro Sequeira (Costa Rica), David Terrier (France).
  • Secretary General: Stephane Burchkalter



Founded on 15 December 1965, FIFPRO has 66 full members and 4 candidate members.[19][20] Upon graduation to the next level, new members sign an affiliation agreement that promotes loyalty, integrity and fairness as well as principles of good governance, including open and transparent communications, democratic processes, checks and balances, solidarity and corporate social responsibility. Notably, two of the most preeminent nations in world football, Brazil and Germany, are not members of the FIFPRO.

Full members

Country Association name Member FIFPRO
  Argentina Futbolistas Argentinos Agremiados [es] (FAA) 2019 [1]
  Australia Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) 1999 [2]
  Austria Vereinigung der Fussballer [de] (VdF) 2019 [3]
  Belgium United Athletes (UA) 1992 [4]
  Bolivia Federación Sindical de Futbolistas Profesionales de Bolivia (FABOL) 2007 [5]
  Bosnia and Herzegovina Sindikat Profesionalnih Fudbalera u Bosni i Hercegovini (SPFBiH) 2020 [6]
  Botswana Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) 2016 [7]
  Bulgaria Association of Bulgarian Footballers (ABF) 2008 [8]
  Cameroon Syndicat National des Footballeurs Camerounais (SYNAFOC) 2001 [9]
  Chile Sindicato Interempresa de Futbolistas Profesionales de Chile [es] (SIFUP) 2005 [10]
  Colombia Asociación Colombiana de Futbolistas Profesionales (ACOLFUTPRO) 2007 [11]
  Congo, Democratic Republic of Union des Footballeurs du Congo (UFC) 2010 [12]
  Costa Rica Asociacion de Jugadores Profesionales (ASOJUPRO) 2011 [13]
  Croatia Hrvatska Udruga Nogometni Sindikat (HUNS) 2012 [14]
  Cyprus Pancyprian Footballers Association (PASP) 2005 [15]
  Czechia (Czech Republic) Czech Association of Football Players [cs] (ČAFH) 2012 [16]
  Denmark Spillerforeningen 1993 [17]
  Egypt Egyptian Professional Footballers Association (EPFA) 2002 [18]
  England Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) 1965 [19]
  Finland Jalkapallon Pelaajayhdistys ry [fi] (JPY) 2001 [20]
  France Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels (UNFP) 1965 [21]
  Gabon Association Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels du Gabon (ANFPG) 2017 [22]
  Ghana Professional Footballers Association of Ghana (PFAG) 2013 [23]
  Greece Panhellenic Professional Football Players Association (PSAPP) 1977 [24]
  Guatemala Sindicato de Futbolistas Profesionales de Guatemala (SIFUPGUA) 2014 [25]
  Honduras Asociación de Futbolistas de Honduras (AFHO) 2017 [26]
  Hungary Hivatásos Labdarúgók Szervezete [hu] (HLSZ) 1996 [27]
  Indonesia Asosiasi Pesepakbola Profesional Indonesia (APPI) 2009 [28]
  India Football Players' Association of India (FPAI) 2009 [29]
  Ireland Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland (PFAI) 1996 [30]
  Israel Israel Football Players Organization (IFPO) 2016 [31]
  Italy Associazione Italiana Calciatori (AIC) 1968 [32]
  Japan Japan Pro-footballers Association (JPFA) 2000 [33]
  Kenya Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (KEFWA) 2018 [34]
  Korea, Republic of (South Korea) Korea Pro-Footballer's Association (KPFA) 2019 [35]
  Malaysia Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) 2019 [36]
  Malta Malta Football Players Association (MFPA) 2014 [37]
  Mexico Asociación Mexicana de Futbolistas (AMFpro) 2018 [38]
  Montenegro Sindikat Profesionalnih Fudbalera Crne Gore (SPFCG) 2012 [39]
  Morocco Union Marocaine des Footballeurs Professionnels [fr] (UMFP) 2019 [40]
  Netherlands Vereniging van Contractspelers (VVCS) 1965 [41]
  New Zealand New Zealand Professional Footballers' Association (NZPFA) 2004 [42]
  North Macedonia Sindikat na fudbaleri na Makedonija (SFM) 2017 [43]
  Norway Norske Idrettsutøveres Sentralorganisasjon (NISO) 2019 [44] Archived 2023-08-27 at the Wayback Machine
  Panama Asociación de Futbolistas de Panamá (AFUTPA) 2018 [45]
  Paraguay Futbolistas Asociados del Paraguay (FAP) 2013 [46]
  Peru Agremiación de Futbolistas Profesionales del Perú (SAFAP) 2002 [47]
  Poland Polski Zwiazek Pilkarzy [pl] (PZP) [48]
  Portugal Sindicato dos Jogadores Profissionais de Futebol (SJPF) 1985 [49]
  Qatar Qatar Players Association (QPA) 2018 [50]
  Romania Asociatia Fotbalistilor Amatori si Nonamatori (AFAN) 1998 [51]
  Scotland Professional Footballers' Association Scotland (PFA Scotland) 1965 [52]
  Serbia Sindikat Profesionalnih Fudbalera Nezavisnost (SPFN) 2009 [53]
  Slovakia Únia Futbalových Profesionálov (UFP) 2021 [54]
  Slovenia Sindikat Profesionalnih Igralcev Nogometa Slovenije (SPINS) 2005 [55]
  South Africa South African Football Players Union (SAFPU) 2002 [56]
  Spain Asociación de Futbolistas Españoles (AFE) 1978 [57]
  Sweden Spelarföreningen Fotboll i Sverige [sv; de] - Svenska Fotbollsspelare (SFS) 1990 [58] Archived 2023-08-27 at the Wayback Machine
  Switzerland Swiss Association of Football Players (SAFP) 2002 [59]
  Türkiye (Turkey) Turkish Professional Footballers Association [tr] (TPFD) 2019 [60]
  Ukraine All-Ukrainian Association of Professional Football Players (AUAPFP) 2014 [61]
  United States of America Major League Soccer Players Association (MLS Players Association) 2006 [62]
  Uruguay Mutual Uruguaya de Futbolistas Profesionales [es] (MUFP) 2019 [63]
  Venezuela Asociación Única de Futbolistas Profesionales de Venezuela (AUFPV) 2014 [64]
  Zambia Footballers and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (FAWUZ) 2019 [65]
  Zimbabwe Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) 2010 [66]

Candidate members

Country Association name Member FIFPRO
  Canada Professional Footballers Association Canada (PFACan) [67]
  Iceland Leikmannasamtök Íslands / Icelandic PFA (IPFA) [68] Archived 2023-08-27 at the Wayback Machine
  Kyrgyzstan Association of Professional Football Players of the Kyrgyz Republic (APFKR) 2022 [69]
  Uzbekistan Uzbekistan Footballers Union (UFU) [70]



The FIFA FIFPRO World 11 are the best men's and women's teams of the year. FIFPRO invites all professional men's and women's footballers to compose the teams. Originally called FIFPRO World 11, in 2009, the world players' union joined hands with FIFA. While the format remained the same, the award name changed to the current "FIFA FIFPRO World 11".

FIFPRO World Player of the Year (2005–2008)

Year Player Club Ref.
2005   Ronaldinho   Barcelona [21]
2006   Ronaldinho   Barcelona [22]
2007   Kaká   Milan [23]
2008   Cristiano Ronaldo   Manchester United [24]

FIFPRO granted this award from 2005 to 2008; in 2009 it merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year, which was succeeded by the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010 and later The Best FIFA Men's Player in 2016.[25]

FIFPRO Young Player of the Year (2005–2008)

Year Player Club Ref.
2005   Wayne Rooney   Manchester United [21]
2006   Lionel Messi   Barcelona [22]
2007   Lionel Messi   Barcelona [23]
2008   Lionel Messi   Barcelona [26]

FIFPRO granted this award from 2005 to 2008, after which it was discontinued. (Players born after 1985)

Social impact awards


FIFPRO Merit Awards


In 2008 FIFPRO established its Merit Award, to recognise professional footballers who have made a significant contribution to a charitable cause and are socially engaged. It honours players who use their platform to take action to improve the lives of people in need.[27] The award is worth US$25,000 (as of 2018).[28] Winners of the FIPRO Merit Award include:[29]

  • 2008 – Ibrahim Kargbo (Sierra Leone), ambassador of the Care Foundation in Sierra Leone
  • 2009 – Shabani Nonda (DR Congo), for his foundation that organised annual football tournaments for 350 poor children in Kinshasa, and for his payment of school supplies and school fees, and for organising a Match for Peace (featuring other DR Congo players) to raise funds for victims of violence
  • 2010 – Steven Bryce and Reynaldo Parks (Costa Rica), for their project to help children and young people in deprived neighbourhoods
  • 2011 – Peres Center for Peace (Israel), for its Twinned Peace Sport Schools project, which annually engages thousands of children from Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and promotes peace between Israelis and Palestinians
  • 2012 – Japan Pro-Footballers Association (JPFA[30]), for their charity work for the victims of the 2011 Japanese tsunami
  • 2013 – Stiliyan Petrov (Bulgaria), for his leukaemia foundation
  • 2014 – Héctor Santibanez, for a football school for children with Down syndrome
  • 2015 – Kei Kamara and Michael Lahoud (Sierra Leone), for Schools for Salone, a charity that builds schools
  • 2016 – Haley Carter (USA), for raising support for the Afghan women's team
  • 2017 – Mihai Nesu (Romania), for building a recovery centre for disabled children
  • 2018 – Awer Mabil (Australia), for his charity Barefoot to Boots, providing essentials and football equipment for children in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya[28]
  • 2019 – Johanna Omolo (Kenya), for his foundation that supplies poor children with essentials in Dandora, Kenya

In 2020 the format changed, and four awards were given:[31]

  • Player Activism: a player who advocates for a cause to bring about political or social change
  • Player Impact: a player who acts to create a positive impact in others' lives
  • Player Voice: players who use their platform to raise their voice (and sometimes others) to create awareness or help bring about change with regard to an issue within the football industry
  • FIFPRO Hero: a player who has done something extraordinary and special, needing acknowledgement by FIFPRO.

In 2022, FIFPRO introduced the Union Impact Award, to recognise outstanding work done by unions on the ground to support players.[27]

See also





  1. ^ "Professional football players are at the heart of everything we do". Archived from the original on 27 June 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  2. ^ "FIFPRO defends the rights of players and advances their interests". Archived from the original on 2 July 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Lionel Messi: World 11 through the years". Archived from the original on 15 January 2024. Retrieved 15 January 2024.
  4. ^ "Uruguay hosts fruitful 2022 FIFPRO General Assembly". Archived from the original on 6 November 2022. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  5. ^ "FIFPRO Gallery:Jean-Marc Bosman". FIFPRO. 27 June 2022. Archived from the original on 27 June 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  6. ^ a b "FIFPro announces legal challenge to transfer system". FIFPro Official Website. 17 December 2013. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "Fifpro to launch legal challenge against transfer system because it 'shackles' players". The Telegraph. 17 December 2013. Archived from the original on 2022-01-12. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Players' union Fifpro to take transfer system to European courts". The Guardian. 17 December 2013. Archived from the original on 18 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Football transfer system must change, says world players' union". BBC Sport. 17 December 2013. Archived from the original on 18 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Concussions can pose a serious risk to professional players". Archived from the original on 3 July 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Mental Health issues have reached worrying levels amongst players". Archived from the original on 27 June 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Decoding Online Abuse of Players" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 June 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Player & High Performance Coach Surveys" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 June 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  14. ^ "A player's right to be a parent must be protected". FIFPRO. 27 June 2022. Archived from the original on 3 July 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  15. ^ "A safe and reliable framework is needed to protect players from sexual abuse". Archived from the original on 5 July 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  16. ^ "Group evacuation of women football players and athletes from Afghanistan". Archived from the original on 27 June 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  17. ^ "Fifpro Member Unions Approve Governance Upgrades". FIFPro. Archived from the original on 9 June 2024. Retrieved 19 June 2024.
  18. ^ "Fifpro Board". FIFPro. 19 June 2024. Archived from the original on 26 June 2022. Retrieved 19 June 2024.
  19. ^ "Our member player associations". FIFPRO World Players' Union. 17 February 2021. Archived from the original on 18 October 2021.
  20. ^ "FIFPRO Members". FIFPRO World Players' Union. Archived from the original on 7 May 2023. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  21. ^ a b "Ronaldinho & Rooney scoop awards". BBC Sport. 19 September 2005. Archived from the original on 25 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  22. ^ a b "Ronaldinho Voted FIFPro World Player of the Year AGAIN". FIFPro. Archived from the original on 25 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  23. ^ a b "Kaká voted FIFPro World Player of the Year". SAFP. 1 January 2007. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  24. ^ "Ronaldo voted FIFPro World Player of the Year". UEFA. 27 October 2008. Archived from the original on 2 October 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  25. ^ "The FIFA Ballon d'Or is born". Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 5 July 2010. Archived from the original on December 22, 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  26. ^ "Lionel Messi profile". 101GreatGoals. Archived from the original on 26 November 2021. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  27. ^ a b "Merit Awards". FIFPRO. Archived from the original on 1 December 2022. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  28. ^ a b Hytner, Mike (30 November 2018). "Barefoot to Boots: Socceroo Awer Mabil recognised for refugee work". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 December 2022. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  29. ^ "All winners of the FIFPRO Merit Award since 2008". FIFPRO. 11 December 2019. Archived from the original on 1 December 2022. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  30. ^ "Home". Japan Pro-Footballers Association (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2 December 2022. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  31. ^ "Explaining the FIFPRO Merit Awards". FIFPRO. 8 November 2021. Archived from the original on 1 December 2022. Retrieved 2 December 2022.