Brendan Schwab has stepped down as chair of the Professional Footballers Australia players' union, with former Socceroo Francis Awaritefe replacing him in the role.

Schwab, who co-founded the players' union in 1993, left the role due to the demands of his new position as executive director of the World Players Association, the Swiss-based global players' union.


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He had been involved with the PFA for the past 25 years, including two stints as chief executive, and as the union's special counsel.

Awaritefe's appointment comes as the PFA negotiates collective bargaining agreements for the A-League and W-League off the back of a change in leadership.

Former chief executive John Didulica departed when his contract ended on July 1, with Beau Busch and Kate Gill named co-chief executives.

"Given my commitment to Australian football, it is disappointing to be stepping down at a time when the game faces so many profound challenges and the players in the professional leagues are without the protection of a CBA," Schwab said.

"I am confident that under the leadership of Alex (PFA president Alex Wilkinson), Francis, Kate and Beau, the players will be able to negotiate new CBAs on a win-win basis to carry the game forward."

Awaritefe is on the PFA executive and is also chair of the union's steering committee, negotiating the new CBAs.

He was previously a delegate and executive member during his long NSL playing career.

"It is essential that the incredible sacrifice, commitment and quality football demonstrated by the players in completing the 2019/20 A-League season despite COVID-19 is recognised in the new CBA," Awaritefe said.

"It is time to rebuild and reboot the professional game in Australia, which requires vision, trust, knowledge and courage."


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