FIFPro, the world players' union, will 'vigorously oppose' any attempts from FIFA or UEFA to ban players from participating in national team competitions, as the fallout from the bombshell breakaway Super League proposal continues.
12 teams, including six from the Premier League, three from La Liga and three from Serie A, intend to walk away from UEFA sanctioned competitions to create their own closed-doors rival event, tearing apart European football as we know it.
There has been worldwide condemnation and backlash to the proposals, with one of the many sanctions threatened being the banning of any player involved from all international competition governed by FIFA or UEFA - most notably the World Cup and European Championship.
But in a strongly worded statement, world players' union FIFPro has claimed they will do all they can to protect the players who would be affected - citing the 'unacceptable' impeding of player rights and leveraging of their careers in negotiations.
"Threats of a breakaway competition and subsequent concessions to reform European football competitions have shaped decision-making for years," the statement began. "This dynamic has replaced transparent and inclusive discussions on the opportunities of competition reforms for all players, fans, clubs, league and federations.
"Players continue to be used as assets and leverage in these negotiations. This is unacceptable for FIFPRO, our 64 national player asssociations and the 60,000 players we represent. We will vigorously oppose measures by either side that would impede the right of players, such as exclusion from their national teams.
"In the best interest of players, and the whole industry, we are committed to working with all stakeholders towards decisions that supports all levels of the game and repair its existing flaws."
That staunch defence of player privileges follows a defiant UEFA statement, which condemned the proposals and outlined the lengths they're willing to go to to disrupt and prevent the Super League from going ahead.
“UEFA, the English Football Association and the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and LaLiga, and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Lega Serie A have learned that a few English, Spanish and Italian clubs may be planning to announce their creation of a closed, so-called Super League.
“If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we – UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, La Liga, Lega Serie A, but also FIFA and all our member associations - will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.
“We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening. Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way.
“As previously announced by FIFA and the six Federations, the clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams."