MADRID – FIFA announced on Tuesday it had agreed with the World Player’s Union (FIFPRO) the creation of a fund to offer financial assistance to players who have not and will not be paid by their club.
In a statement, the two soccer bodies said they had set aside around $16 million to be paid in three installments until 2022, with another $5 million allocated for retroactive wage payments applicable for the period between July 2015 and June 2020.
FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino said: “This agreement and our commitment to helping players in a difficult situation show how we interpret our role as world football’s governing body. We are also here to reach out to those in need, especially within the football community, and that starts with the players, who are the key figures in our game.”
The soccer body said recent reports, such as the 2016 Global Employment Report: Working Conditions in Professional Football, confirmed the increasing number of cases of players were not being paid by their clubs.
FIFA said in the press release that it had adjusted its Disciplinary Code to help tackle the issue of players not being paid, particularly to target so-called sporting successors of debtor clubs, which are formed to purposely avoid paying out salaries.
Representatives of FIFA and the union will staff a committee to oversee and act on petitions coming into to the FIFA FFP.
“While these grants will not cover the full amount of salaries owed to players, this fund will provide an important safety net,” the statement said.
FIFPRO President Philippe Piat said: “More than 50 clubs in 20 countries have shut in the last five years, plunging hundreds of footballers into uncertainty and hardship.
“This fund will provide valuable support to those players and families most in need. Many of these clubs have shut to avoid paying outstanding wages, immediately re-forming as so-called new clubs.
“FIFPRO has long campaigned against this unscrupulous practice and thanks FIFA for combating it in its Disciplinary Code.”