Sydney will play host to the global gathering of football’s player unions next year, as the FIFPRO General Assembly convenes in Australia for the first time in 2019.

Over 65 player associations from across the world will meet in the Harbour City in late 2019, as Professional Footballers Australia (the PFA) welcomes its global colleagues for the event.

The announcement was made at the 2018 General Assembly in Rome, held in the Italian capital to mark the 50thanniversary of the Italian player association, Associazione Italiana Calciatori (AIC).

PFA Chair and Executive Director of the World Players Association Brendan Schwab at the 2018 General Assembly in Rome in November.

This year was the PFA’s 25thanniversary, with FIFPRO General Secretary, Theo van Seggelen, pointing to Australian association’s significant and consistent contribution to the Australian game over the last quarter of a century.

“The Australian PFA is well respected at FIFPRO as a progressive organisation. As the recent FFA governance review showed, the PFA has established itself to play a crucial role in shaping the future of Australian football.

“This is the result of more than 25 years hard work, organising the country’s professional players, and ensuring their voice is heard.”

The 2018 General Assembly in Rome.

Each General Assembly provides an opportunity for FIFPRO members to cover a series of issues including player welfare and trends impacting the global football industry, such as the current negotiations with FIFA around the future of the international transfer system.

The PFA will play a key role in securing a venue and organising the 2019 General Assembly, with Chief Executive, John Didulica, thrilled the PFA has been provided the opportunity to showcase Australian football to the world associations next year and host former international stars turned player advocates, such as Damiano Tommasi (Italy) and Geremi (Cameroon).

“Hosting events such as this reinforce the enormous breadth and depth of our game and it’s a great honour for the PFA to be selected as host whilst celebrating its 25th anniversary,” Didulica said.

“We are very humbled to be so highly regarded on the world stage. Francis Awaritefe sits on the global board of FIFPro, PFA staff regularly advise on global matters such as the international match calendar and growing women’s football, we are actively building networks throughout Asia and our players such as Awer Mabil have been internationally recognised for their work at the global level.”  

The PFA’s CEO John Didulica (left) and Simon Colosimo (right) accepting Awer Mabil’s FIFPro Merit Award in Rome last month.

Further details of the event will be confirmed in early 2019.