Historic First Meeting of the World’s Professional Leagues sets agenda for future

Twenty four leading Professional League organisations from across the world of football met in London today, 28 April 2015, at the first ever Global Leagues Forum.

This historic meeting brought together Presidents, Chairmen, Chief Executives and General Secretaries from Professional Leagues that represent over 1100 of the world’s top Clubs. Professional Leagues from Bolivia, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, UAE, USA, as well as the European Professional Football Leagues Association, were represented.  Between them, their clubs provided just under 90 per cent of the players who took part in the FIFA World Cup 2014.

The discussion between leaders of Professional League football was wide ranging, focused on strategies for the successful development of Professional League football in each of their countries. These focused on relationships with players and fans in particular, and Professional League business models.

Whilst all Professional Leagues are different, the issues they face are the same as each looks to develop the professional game in their country. Experiences and approaches will be shared, with established Leagues committing to assisting developing Leagues across the world.

The Leagues agree that wherever a common view on issues can be achieved, Leagues should speak with a single voice, as leading members of the global football family. A focus of the next meeting in the USA (19-20 October 2015) will be on formalising a new way of working more closely together.

This first Forum was hosted by the Premier League and organised together with La Liga, with the next meeting to be hosted by Major League Soccer.

At the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the EPFL Frédéric Thiriez stated: “Today was an important day for professional football. This was a first and decisive step for the world leagues to speak with a single voice on issues of common concern”

Those who attended:

Jack Oguda
(CEO, Kenyan Premier League)
Nduka Irabor (CEO, Nigerian Professional Football League)
Shehu Dikko (Chairman, Nigerian Professional Football League)
Irvin Khosa (Chairman, Premier Soccer League)

Rafael Espinosa
(General Secretary, DIMAYOR)
Fernando Humerez (President, Liga de Futbol Profesional Boliviano)
Decio de Maria (President, Liga MX)
Selim B. Canahuati (President, Liga N. de Futbol Profesional Honduras)
Mark Abbott (Deputy Comissioner, Major League Soccer)
Todd Turbin (EVP of Competition, Major League Soccer)
Julian Solano Porras (President, Primera Division de Costa Rica)

Ma Chengquan
(Chairman, Chinese Super League)
Liu Weidong (General Manager, Chinese Super League)
Mitsuru Murai (Chairman, J-League)
Shoji Fujimura (General Manager, J-League)
Hani T. Ballan (CEO, Qatar Stars League)
Mushtaq Al Waeli (Senior Advisor, Qatar Stars League)
Mohammed Al Nowaiser (Chairman,Saudi Professional League)
Yasser Al Misehal (CEO, Saudi Professional League)
Suhail Al Areefi (CEO, UAE Arabian Gulf League, Pro League Committee)

Frédéric Thiriez
(President, French League and EPFL Chairman)
Christian Seifert (CEO, Bundesliga)
Georg Pangl (General Secretary, European Professional Football Leagues)
Javier Tebas Medrano (President, La Liga)
Giovanni Pifarotti (Head of International Affairs (Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie A)
Joao Martins (General Secretary, Liga Portugal)
Frederic Thiriez (President, Ligue 1)
Richard Scudamore (Chief Executive, Premier League)
Nic Coward (General Secretary, Premier League)
Sergey Pryadkin (President, Russian Premier League)
Neil Doncaster (CEO, Scottish Professional Football League)
Edmond Isoz (Senior Manager, Swiss Football League)


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