FIFPro, the worldwide representative organisation for professional footballers, has urged the Cyprus football association (CFA) not to take any disciplinary action after members of the women’s national football team displayed an unauthorised banner reading “Equal Game” before a game against Finland last week.
In a letter to the CFA, FIFPro Secretary General Theo Van Seggelen praised the players who “sent a message in favour of gender equality.”
The letter also praises the Pancyprian Footballers Association (PASP), “which stood by the players.”
The CFA decided to conduct a preliminary investigation after members of the women’s national team displayed the banner before the November 7 fixture.
The association said “the action was outside the framework agreed between the two football federations and against the UEFA protocol on international competitions.”
The statement went on saying that “the players’ action left the CFO in danger of being fined by the Europe’s football governing body (UEFA).
“Such actions cannot go unnoticed and an investigation will be conducted, which will show whether the players will be subject to a disciplinary action.”
FIFPro, however, strongly disagreed with the CFA.
“We find the CFA’s behaviour unacceptable and unethical, as we publicly support the team’s actions.
“Let us be very clear. Both FIFPro and PASP have fully supported the Cyprus women’s national team’s campaign for an equal game and will continue to do so.
“Contrary to what the CFA seems to imply, the players did not violate any rules or regulations. They were simply asking to be treated in the same way as their male counterparts, with reference to an official UEFA campaign, called ‘Equal Game’.”
“We fail to understand how a reference to a UEFA-supported campaign could in any way lead to the conclusion that the players’ actions were unacceptable or immoral or would justify any disciplinary sanction.
“Please note that any further indication by the CFA that the players’ actions will be sanctioned is going to be considered by FIFPro to be an abuse of power.
“Therefore, we kindly, but firmly, urge you not to take any disciplinary measures against members of the team.”