41% of play­ers made to wait for wages: Survey

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Over 40 per­cent of the world’s pro­fes­sional foot­ballers have ex­pe­ri­enced de­layed pay­ment of wages, ac­cord­ing to a wide-rang­ing survey pub­lished by global play­ers’ union FIFPro yes­ter­day. In the survey, car­ried out by the Univer­sity of Manch­ester, 41 per­cent of the 13,876 play­ers who re­sponded had been forced to wait for their salaries over the past two sea­sons.

“It’s a wake-up call for clubs and gov­ern­ing bod­ies,” FIFPro Gen­eral-Sec­re­tary Theo van Segge­len told re­porters dur­ing a re­cent brief­ing in Lon­don. “We can­not ac­cept it any longer.” The FIFPro Global Em­ploy­ment Report 2016 also found nine per­cent of play­ers had suf­fered from vi­o­lence and seven per­cent had been been ap­proached to fix matches.

FIFPro hopes the survey, which is the biggest of its kind, will shed light on the prob­lems faced by play­ers play­ing out­side glam­orous cham­pi­onships such as Eng­land’s Premier League or Spain’s LaLiga.

The me­dian net monthly in­come of play­ers sur­veyed was $1,000 to $2,000, with 60 per­cent of re­spon­dents earn­ing un­der $2,000 per month. FIFPro has used the ex­am­ple of Nige­ria in­ter­na­tional Michael Uchebo, who has not been paid by Por­tuguese top-flight club Boav­ista since April, to il­lus­trate its find­ings on late pay­ments. The 26-year-old striker has been pre­vented from play­ing since the end of last sea­son and, ac­cord­ing to FIFPro, risks evic­tion from his house. He has been banned from first-team train­ing and has posted footage on so­cial me­dia that ap­pears to show him being forcibly re­moved from Boav­ista’s gym­na­sium and threated with vi­o­lence by se­cu­rity staff. “I don’t un­der­stand why Boav­ista treat me like this,” Uchebo said dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Lis­bon or­gan­ised by the Por­tuguese play­ers’ union. “I asked them if I did some­thing wrong.

They are treat­ing me like a slave.” Boav­ista did not wish to com­ment on the mat­ter when con­tacted by AFP, but in a video posted on Face­book ear­lier this month, club pres­i­dent Al­varo Braga said Uchebo’s state­ments “do not cor­re­spond to the truth”. Braga said Uchebo turned down op­por­tu­ni­ties to join other clubs dur­ing the close-sea­son trans­fer win­dow and had re­jected a set­tle­ment-which FIFPro says was one month’s salary-to ter­mi­nate his con­tract.

World gov­ern­ing body FIFA’s rules on over­due pay­ments al­low clubs to be 90 days late and the survey found 78 per­cent of play­ers ex­pe­ri­enc­ing salary de­lays were paid within that timescale.

FIFPro wants the non-pay­ment buf­fer to be re­duced to 30 days, in the short term, and ul­ti­mately abol­ished. “Not ev­ery foot­ball player has three cars in three dif­fer­ent colours,” said Van Segge­len. — AFP

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