PFA chief executive Maheta Molango said: “I am grateful that Gianni Infantino, Arsene Wenger and the team from FIFA accepted the PFA’s invitation to come to Manchester to meet in person with members. I know the players really valued what was a constructive, open, and positive discussion, and we thank them for that.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino was joined for the discussion in Manchester, England, by FIFA Chief of Global Football Development. Two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner Jill Ellis was invited to attend remotely.

Molango continued: “This was an opportunity for PFA members from both the men’s and women’s game to share their views on a range of important issues around the structure of the game and the football calendar. If those who play the game are to have meaningful input into decisions about its future, then this kind of dialogue is absolutely critical.

“The PFA are looking forward to continuing this positive engagement with FIFA and we are committed to bringing together other administrators from across the game to hear directly from the players on the issues that matter to them.”

The hybrid meeting follows several exchanges with players and player’s representatives over recent months in relation to the international match calendar.

“FIFA is listening to everybody,” said Mr Infantino. “We were happy to have the opportunity to speak to, and hear from, players in an open and frank way. It was a fascinating discussion and a chance for FIFA to explain directly how we are thinking in ways to protect the players and the quality of international football.

“We took note of the valuable opinions and we’re sure this will lead to more constructive exchanges. This is what we wanted from the beginning of this process, to facilitate an open platform where everyone’s view can be brought to the table.

“It is important that players all over the world are involved in ongoing discussions about the future of the game. We have a real opportunity to change. We thank the PFA and FIFPRO for their collaboration involving players from across the English game. We look forward to continued dialogue around the world.”

FIFPRO President David Aganzo said: “I would like to thank FIFA and FIFA President Infantino for attending this important meeting in Manchester together with the PFA to discuss the importance of engaging with players and having FIFPRO as key stakeholders in the decision-making process.

“With plenty of discussions to be had, it is positive to see that an open dialogue is taking place and being promoted.”

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