After only 3 years of full membership the Maltese Football Players Association, was trusted to host the prestigious FIFPro European Congress. Between the 16 and 17 of May 2017, delegates from all over Europe, met in Malta to discuss the next steps for the World Players’ Union.
In his opening speech, Bobby Barnes - President of the FIFPro European Division, remarked on Malta’s close ties to his own country, England. In a reference to the George Cross, given to Malta for bravery, he drew comparisons with FIFPro’s and MFPA’s brave fight for what is right.
MFPA General Secretary Carlo Mamo, spoke about how, his own personal football circumstances led him to FIFPro and to MFPA’s inception. Mamo went on to list the progress made so far, and the journey ahead, listing the removal of salary capping and agreement on minimum standard contract as important victories and the abolishment of out of contract transfer fees and access to National Courts as the most urgent issues to be tackled.
‘Heroes of Football’ representatives addressed the congress. In an inspiring presentation they talked about sexual orientation and gender identity as a taboo subject within football. There is currently no professional openly gay player in Europe, due to the high tension surrounding the subject. Gay players face fear of not being accepted within the team’s locker room and rejection by supporters. The Heroes of Football Project seeks to turn the tide by making football a leading example on the road to an inclusive society. FIFPro division Europe has endorsed the project.