South Korea's professional football players' association will officially begin operating after earning the government's approval to become a legal entity, officials here said Friday.
FIFPro Korea said it is now officially an incorporated association following the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's authorization, which allows the organization to register assets and manage its operations systemically.
"As an organization that represents South Korea's pro footballers, we will work closely with the Korea Football Association and the K League to protect players' rights," FIFPro Korea said. "And through this process, we plan to contribute to the development of South Korean football."
The players' union said it will pursue various programs to help players, including finding jobs for retired players, protecting footballers' portrait rights and fighting club mistreatment of players.
"We're now in the process of becoming a candidate member of FIFPro," said Kim Hoon-ki, the association's general secretary. "In December, we'll be officially recognized as a FIFPro member and will introduce better programs."
FIFPro represents more than 65,000 players worldwide, including top stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and has more than 60 national players' associations as its members.
The South Korean association was first introduced in June. Its board members include Kim Han-sup, a former player with Daejeon Citizen, and Kwak Hee-ju, who played for Suwon Samsung Bluewings and the national team. (Yonhap)