Lord George Foulkes of Cumnock (United Kingdom, SOC), PACE rapporteur on “Football governance: business and values” held an exchange of views by videoconference yesterday with UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
Following the meeting, Lord Foulkes said: “In these quite difficult times, we need a united football family and not a divided one. We need to find innovative ways of building solidarity while paying due consideration to the greater value driven by some clubs. We must protect underage players, uphold gender equality, reinforce the role of women in football governing bodies at all levels, and foster more systematic fan participation in football decision-making. Together, it will be possible to face the challenges of the crisis more effectively and strengthen the resilience of the whole football system.”
Mr Čeferin said: “UEFA and the Council of Europe have a long partnership working together on matters from good governance to match-fixing and anti-discrimination. As recent events have shown, this partnership and co-operation remain very strong, and Lord Foulkes' initiative is welcome. As a former football club chairman and lifelong fan of the sport, Lord Foulkes’s passion for the game will help his report give valuable inputs to discussions on how to strengthen European football governance and protect the values-driven European Sports Model based on the principle of open competitions. UEFA looks forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders and partners in this regard.”
Their discussions also addressed the ongoing reform of the transfer system, the new regulations on agents and the issue of players’ rights, as well as ways of strengthening collaboration between football stakeholders and policy-makers, including the Parliamentary Assembly.