The Annual Meeting of the World Leagues Forum (WLF), was held today in Marrakesh, Morocco, with 34 professional football leagues attending, hosted by the Moroccan “Ligue Nationale de Football Professionnel”. This annual meeting is a two-day event with workshops, exchange sessions with FIFA and IFAB and discussions on professional football.
On this occasion, the WLF appointed Enrique Bonilla, Executive President of Liga MX (Mexico) as its new Chairman. Bonilla succeeds Christian Seifert, CEO of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga (Germany) whose mandate was coming to end. It is the first time that a non-European will chair the WLF. Christian Seifert will remain Vice-Chairman of the WLF together with Don Garber, Commissioner of Major League Soccer (USA). This triumvirate will continue to form the Management Board of the WLF.
Looking into the future, the leagues welcomed the recent agreement between the WLF and FIFA on the development of professional football by which the leagues and FIFA will work together to improve governance structures and standards in professional football worldwide.
The Leagues reiterated the need to regulate agents and their full support to the reform recently adopted by the FIFA Council including a license and a cap on fees.
The Leagues also discussed the future Club World Cup which will be held in 2021 in China. They will make proposals directly to FIFA on the redistribution model in order to not jeopardize competitive balance at domestic level and to emphasize solidarity.
The leagues already running women’s football at domestic level will share their experience and best practices to support other leagues in developing women’s football.
Finally, the leagues expressed their concerns on racism in football. Determined to fight against this inacceptable phenomenon, they decided to set up a Leagues’ “Task Force Against Racism” to collect data across their members, identify best practices and make recommendations.
Enrique Bonilla, Executive President of Liga MX and newly appointed Chairman of the World Leagues Forum stated after the meeting: “I am extremely honoured to having been appointed Chairman of the World leagues Forum. It is an opportunity to help develop and improve our beloved sport and to position the leagues in the football landscape.”
Full list of the 40 Members of the World Leagues Forum:
Asian Football Confederation (AFC):
J LEAGUE (Japan), QATAR STARS LEAGUE (Qatar), SAUDI PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE
(Saudi Arabia), MALAYSIA LLP (Malaysia), AUSTRALIAN CLUBS ASSOCIATION
(Australia), UAE PRO LEAGUE COMMITTEE (United Arab Emirates)
Confederation of African Football (CAF):
LIGUE DE FOOTBALL PROFESSIONNEL (Algeria), PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
(South Africa), KENYAN PREMIER LEAGUE (Kenya), NIGERIA PROFESSIONAL
FOOTBALL LEAGUE (Nigeria), LIGUE DE FOOTBALL GUINEENNE (Guinea),
ZIMBABWE PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE (Zimbabwe), LIGUE NATIONALE DE
FOOTBALL PROFESSIONNEL (Morocco)
Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF):
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER (USA), LIGA MX (Mexico), LIGA NACIONAL DE FÚTBOL
PROFESIONAL HONDURAS (Honduras), UNAFUT COSTA RICA (Costa Rica), LIGA
PANAMENA DE FUTBOL (Panama)
South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL):
DIMAYOR (Colombia), SUPERLIGA ARGENTINA DE FUTBOL (Argentina), LIGAPRO
Union of European Football Associations (UEFA):
LEGA SERIE A (Italy), LA LIGA (Spain), BUNDESLIGA (Germany), LIGUE DE FOOTBALL
PROFESSIONNEL (France), PREMIER LEAGUE (England), EREDIVISIE (Netherlands),
DIVISIONSFORENINGEN (Denmark), FORENINGEN SVENSK ELITFOTBOLL
(Sweden), LIGA PORTUGUESA DE FUTEBOL PROFISSIONAL (Portugal), SWISS
FOOTBALL LEAGUE (Switzerland), SCOTTISH PROFESSIONNAL FOOTBALL
LEAGUE (Scotland), EKSTRAKLASA (Poland), SUPER LIGA SRBIJE (Serbia),
UKRAINIAN PREMIER LEAGUE (Ukraine), ISRAELI PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL
LEAGUES (Israel), LIGA PROFESIONISTA DE FOTBAL (Romania), PRO LEAGUE
(Belgium), RUSSIAN PREMIER LEAGUE (Russia), TURKSIH CLUBS UNION (Turkey).