Zurich – Football’s governing body FIFA and the European body UEFA on Tuesday said they rejected the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ‘whereabouts’ rule.
In a statement issued by FIFA the organizations said they rejected the notion of having to inform doping officials of the individual location of team-sport athletes.
The statement said they reached their decision following the joint meeting with the team sports’ federations held in Vienna on December 8 2008, and further to the unanimous decision of the FIFA Executive Committee in Zurich on March 19, and the unanimous decision of the UEFA Executive Committee in Copenhagen on March 24.
“FIFA and UEFA want to stress the fundamental differences between an individual athlete, who trains on his own, on the one hand, and a team-sport athlete, who is present at the stadium six days out of seven, and thus easy to locate, on the other hand,” the statement said.
“FIFA and UEFA therefore oppose the individual ‘whereabouts’ rule, and want to see it replaced by collective location rules, within the scope of the team and within the stadium infrastructure.
“Nevertheless, FIFA and UEFA agree, as an exception, to individual location for players already serving a suspension, or for players injured for a long period of time, as these players do not necessarily participate in the daily life of the club.”
The two bodies said they also rejected the notion that footballers had to give details of their whereabouts during their holidays, in order to respect their private life.
“Finally, FIFA and UEFA want to draw attention to the fact that, both on a political and juridical level, the legality of the lack of respect of the private life of players, a fundamental element of individual liberty, can be questioned.”
The statement said that between 25,000 and 30,000 doping controls were conducted on footballers every year.
“In a spirit of collaboration in the fight against doping, FIFA and UEFA therefore ask WADA to reconsider its position on the ‘whereabouts’ rule,” the statement said. (dpa)