EU Athletes supports FNASS (Fédération nationale des associations et syndicats de sportifs) and our French affiliates UNFP (football), SNB (basketball), PROVALE (rugby) and AJPH (handball), protesting the changes in the law which extends the duration of the first professional contract for athletes.

By introducing the amendment in the law on vocational training (formation professionnelle) which affects the sport law, the deputes supported by the Sport Minister’s cabinet, have responded to wishes of sport organizations’ officials (especially those in football) who wants to keep the young players in their clubs as long as possible. It could effectively restrict player’s right to work and prevent them from developing their professional careers.

As FNASS points out, there are no other reasons for this change except for financial ones. It puts all the players in the same category, without taking into account the specificities present in different sports. Even if football is being targeted, the harmful effects will touch all the sports represented in FNASS as well as the other ones.

Sylvain Kastendeuch, the President of FNASS, outraged by the amendment, asks: “How can we act as if the social dialogue didn’t exist, without listening to the voice of athletes and their representatives, who have clearly expressed their refusal to change the duration of the first professional contract from 3 to 5 years? How can we forget the EU Directive 99/70 on fix-term work who gives the right to define fix-term contacts to social partners?”

FNASS demands the withdrawal of the amendment, which wouldn’t have improved the conditions of training of athletes in France or their status. It would only allow certain entities to make more gains, with a breach of athletes’ commercial freedom and without thinking about their future.

Paulina Tomczyk, the General Secretary of EU Athletes, added: “We stand by our French members and athletes, who protest both the content of the amendment and the process in which it was introduced. It is not acceptable that the rights of professional athletes are restricted just because they work in sport. Social dialogue is an essential component of good governance and the competence of social partners in defining employment issues in sport must be respected.”

To find out more visit FNASS website www.fnass.fr and follow them on Twitter @FNASS_

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