The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and FIFPro Division (Asia/Oceania) have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to mutually recognise each other and reinforce cooperation and dialogue on the important developmental areas of the game in the region.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) specifically covers the need to ensure continuing support for player participation in national leagues in OFC member countries as well as OFC tournaments and to strike a proper balance between the interests of players and clubs.
OFC was represented by Vice President Fred De Jong at the signing ceremony while FIFPro Division (Asia/Oceania)’s signatory was Chairman, Brendan Schwab.
Schwab said that a growing number of footballers in Oceania are turning professional in countries such as Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Zealand and Fiji.
“Our commitment is to assist in the education of players and officials on the path of a professional player and how to uphold professionalism,” Schwab said.
OFC General Secretary Tai Nicholas said the MoU was an important cooperation agreement and would benefit the region.
“In light of the growing popularity of the O-league and the rise of professional players in the competition OFC needed a mechanism to help look after its players. This MoU will help to provide minimum standards for professional players across the region.”
Under the agreement both parties agree to hold regular meetings to monitor the development of the game in Oceania and modernise existing football structures by assisting in implementing the minimum contract conditions for professional players as contained in the Annex to the document.
Commenting on this historic document, Schwab stated that this agreement was the third step on the road to a strong alliance between the governing bodies for football at the world and continental levels with FIFPro, the World Players’ Union and its own respective divisions.
“On 2 November 2006, FIFA and FIFPro signed an MoU and this was swiftly followed by UEFA and FIFPro’s European Division, signing a somewhat similar document in October last year and now it is the turn of FIFPro Division (Asia/Oceania) to do so”.
“This MoU clearly shows that the OFC understands that players are an important stakeholder in the game and that for the game to prosper, it is essential to integrate them into the development process,” said Schwab.
The event was held at the OFC headquarters in Auckland and was attended by officials from both organisations including OFC General Secretary Tai Nicholas, OFC Deputy General Secretary Frederic Guillemont and FIFPro Division (Asia/Oceania), Board member, Andrew Scott-Howman.