This week in Switzerland, Australian players’ associations including the PFA, joined with more than 100 players’ associations representing over 150,000 athletes to establish a federation of world player associations.

During the World Athletes Summit in Nyon, representatives from across the globe voted unanimously to establish a federation of world player associations. The “Nyon Declaration” is a landmark in the fight to champion athletes’ rights. The new federation will tackle the crisis in the governance of world sports.

In an historic first meeting, players’ associations came together at UNI to demand that the rights of athletes be fully respected.

More than a 100 players’ associations from as far a field as Bangladesh and New Zealand, representing sports as diverse as Gaelic football, ice hockey and cricket are seeking a blueprint for success – a new agenda to drive forward the rights of sportsmen and sportswomen.

The key topics discussed included collective bargaining, the status of players, and the reform of the anti-doping rules, anti-corruption measures, image rights, and dual careers/transition programmes.

The players’ associations and UNI Sport Pro continue the fight for athletes who are often vulnerable and at the mercy of the governing sports bodies and the market.

All the players’ associations present at the World Athletes Summit stressed the importance of education for athletes and tailored training that will give them the chance to fulfil their potential once their playing careers have come to an end.

With reference to the Nyon Declaration, Theo van Seggeln, Secretary General, International Federation of Football Players Unions, said “Professional sport is global and therefore solutions to the problems we have in sports need to be solved on a global level. For that reason today we took a big step forward.”

PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab attended the Summit along with Paul Marsh, the CEO of the Australian Cricketers’ Association.  Both Schwab and Marsh were also representing the Australian Athletes’ Alliance, the peak body of Australian player associations that represents more than 3,000 elite professional athletes in AFL, cricket, football, horse racing (jockeys), netball, rugby, rugby league and swimming.

Schwab said he was delighted by the expertise and commitment shown by the world’s athlete representatives at the Summit.

“The need for a united global voice across sports is longstanding,” Schwab said.  “Sport is facing many challenges including governance, gambling and doping.  These can only be effectively addressed if the athletes are at the table through independent and democratic player associations.  The evidence is overwhelming that the sports that work in partnership with professional player associations lead the world in both commercial and sporting terms.”

“In conjunction with FIFPro, FIFPro Asia and the AAA, we will work to ensure the athletes’ voice is heard and makes an intelligent contribution at the national, regional and global level with both sporting bodies and governments,” Schwab added.

To view the Nyon Declaration click here