The federations of team sports of Europe (Union Européenne de Football Association (UEFA), Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA), International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), European Handball Federation (EHF), Confédération Européenne de Volleyball (CEV)) met in Zurich on November 7, 2000 to discuss recent developments in European sport, in particular the creation of independent commercial leagues outside the traditional structure and the transfer system in football.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. René Fasel, President of IIHF and the following persons signed the declaration on behalf of all participating Federations:

  • UEFA, Markus Studer, Deputy Chief Executive
  • IIHF, Jan-Ake Edvinsson, Secretary General
  • EHF, Staffan Holmqvist, President
  • CEV, Philip Berben, Senior Vice-President
  • FIBA, Patrick Baumann, Deputy Secretary General
  • The Federations were unanimous in their view that the principles laid down in the Helsinki Report should be implemented by the European Union. Specific attention was drawn to the following fundamental principles:

    ‘This tendency (the temptation for certain sports operators and certain large clubs to leave the federations in order to derive the maximum benefit from the economic potential of sport) may jeopardise the principle of financial solidarity between professional and amateur sport and the system of promotion and relegation’ and ‘the organisation of national championships and the selection of national athletes and national teams for international competitions often require the existence of one umbrella organisation bringing together all the sports associations and competitors of one discipline.’

    These principles are regarded as essential to safeguard the pyramid structure of European sport, the central role of the federations and the investment in the development of sport having due regard to the specificity of sport.

    It was recognised that any transfer system in team sports must guarantee contractual stability and promote youth education and solidarity through an appropriate compensation system.

    The federations agreed to meet again in the near future to develop common actions to encourage the implementation of the Helsinki Report.

    In this context the supportive position taken by the Sports Ministers of all European Union countries at their meeting on November 6 in Paris under the French presidency is particularly satisfactory and represents a further crucial development for all sports federations.

    For details contact:

    Florian Wanninger, Joanna Sutherland, Jon Ingram or Romain Vez at Fiba

    Tel: +49 89 74 81 580
    Fax: +49 89 74 81 5833