Federation of International Cricketers' Associations

ILO Underlines Importance of Players’ Associations and Collective Agreements


FICA today commented on the outcomes of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Global Dialogue on Decent Work in the World of Sport held in Geneva in late January (accessible here). The ILO is an agency of the United Nations, and the tripartite Dialogue was the first solely focussed on the working conditions facing professional athletes.

The Dialogue was attended by players’ association representatives under the World Players’ Association umbrella, employer, and government representatives. Global sports governing bodies also attended as observers, including World Rugby, FIFA, and the IOC. The ICC did not attend.

The Dialogue adopted various ‘points of consensus’, which affirmed that:

  • Professional athletes must be afforded fundamental rights at work;
  • Governments, employers, players’ associations and sports bodies should promote engagement, including via collective negotiations, to improve working conditions for professional athletes worldwide; and
  • ‘Free, independent, strong and representative’ athlete organisations are key to achieving this.

Tom Moffat, FICA’s CEO, who along with FICA Board Member, Cecelia Joyce, attended the Dialogue as part of the World Players’ Association delegation said:

“The outcomes of the Dialogue provided another example of the clear direction of travel in world sport, and confirmation that athletes’ fundamental rights must be respected. History shows us that when players are represented by genuinely independent and representative players’ associations, and collectively agree the terms and conditions of their work, this has benefitted both the players and the sport. Collective agreements bring stability and certainty in complex employment environments at both national and global level.”

“We have spent several years urging the ICC to work collaboratively on implementing a proactive framework to protect players’ rights in cricket, including against many of the harms that we know are being caused to them. We have highlighted instances of active opposition to players joining or forming a players’ association, and have also provided significant data on systematic contract breaches, non-payment of players, and bullying and intimidation, in the system the ICC and its members regulate.”

“We have provided proactive proposals to address these and other issues and we continue to urge the ICC to work collaboratively with us on these.” 

FICA’s Principles, which have been developed in line with the real life experience of players, and the World Players’ Association Universal Declaration of Player Rights, which articulates existing internationally recognised human rights as they apply to sport, are accessible here.


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