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Players urged to fight racism with PFA

FIFPro, which represents footballers worldwide, has advised black players in English football to remain within the PFA to fight their cause.

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A breakaway union has been mentioned in recent weeks, but FIFPro insists "nobody will profit from such breakaway". FIFPro has defended the rights of all professional footballers worldwide for nearly 50 years.

"That means all players," says secretary general Theo van Seggelen. "We have laid it down in one of our principles, and according to me it is the most important principle of all: FIFPro makes no distinction on the basis of nationality, religion, political convictions, race or gender.

"FIFPro is against all forms of racism and violence and will oppose these at all times. FIFPro pursues equal rights and obligations for all players all over the world.

"Currently FIFPro consists of 49 member unions and 6 candidate member unions from countries in Europe, Africa, Asia-Oceania and America. Within FIFPro all unions are united. Everyone can bring their problems and opinions to the table. Although opinions may differ, we try to solve all problems jointly, including anti-racism." "I understand that due to what happened in the past twelve months in England, divisions have arisen," Van Seggelen continues. But I cannot understand the talk of a new union solely for colored professional footballers.

"Do we need two separate unions to tackle a problem like racism? A separation will only pit the two sides against each other: us and them. I thought that anti-racism was all about unity. "FIFPro strongly supports the PFA, because of what it stands for. Because of its actions in the past 105 years. Because of its guiding role in the world of professional footballers' associations, amongst others in fighting racism and discrimination. "In the fight against racism and discrimination, there is only one way to successful results, and that is through solidarity and unity. If we do not remain united, we will take three giant steps backwards."