Professional football
Around FIFA

Professional football­

2 min. reading time

FIFA has an unwavering commitment to look after football’s most important protagonists – the players. Throughout 2021, further steps were taken to ensure the well-being and continued development of all players within the professional game.

FIFA launches pioneering platform­

In January 2021, FIFA launched the FIFA Professional Football Landscape, the first-ever digital database comprising key facts and figures on players, clubs, transfers and top-tier competitions across all 211 member associations.

Bringing together data from a broad spectrum of key performance indicators that reflect the status of clubs and leagues worldwide, the tool offers a detailed visual overview of the game.

The FIFA Professional Football Landscape was created for the whole football community in order to monitor the professionalisation of football, in line with FIFA’s strategic objective of mapping and promoting football development around the world in order to make the game truly global.

Throughout the remainder of 2021, all member associations were given access to the platform, thus enabling them to provide updates on both men’s and women’s football on a regular basis.

Facts and figures­

The FIFA professional football landscape provides a fascinating insight into the structure of professional football across the world, including the following takeaways:

Nearly 130,000 professional players and more than 4,400 professional clubs have been identified around the world.

91 00 %

of member associations have implemented a national club licensing system.

65 00 %

of national top-tier competitions are organised by the respective football association.

54 00 %

of domestic competitions around the world follow a traditional home-and-away format.

88 00 %

of competition organisers negotiate their TV rights deals collectively.

FIFA Professional Football Conference­

FIFA and stakeholders from across the professional game met virtually in November 2021 to discuss a range of topics in men’s football, including the ongoing reform of the transfer system and the gathering of various perspectives on the future of the International Match Calendars.

The conference provided FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger with an opportunity to outline his proposals for the future of the International Match Calendars, alongside Technical Director Steven Martens.

In addition to a mandatory rest period for players, the topic of international qualification windows was discussed, as well as potential solutions for achieving a suitable balance between international and domestic competitions for clubs, leagues and players. Delegates from over 50 of FIFA’s member associations participated, together with members of the media.

2021 courses and publications delivered:­

  • FIFA Diploma in Club Management

  • FIFA Professional football Journal

  • FIFA Professional football Conference

  • FIFA Competitive Balance Report

  • FIFA Comparative Analysis of Second and Third Divisions