February 11 – In a ground-breaking move, FIFA and FIFPro – the world players’ union – have joined forces to set up a global fund to protect players’ salaries.
The two parties said they had reached an agreement to set aside $16 million up to 2022. The new fund will launch on 1 July.
FIFPro estimates that about 50 clubs in 20 countries – mainly in Eastern Europe and Asia – have closed down in the last five years, leaving hundreds of players without pay.
Called the FIFA Fund for Football Players (FIFA FFP), it will offer a “safety net” rather than paying players in full, FIFA said, with Gianni Infantino adding the governing body wanted to show its “commitment to helping players in a difficult situation.”
FIFA say $3 million will be provided for the second half of this year and $4 million in both 2021 and 2022. There is also $5 million available to deal with cases of salaries unpaid from July 2015 to June 2020.
“This fund will provide valuable support to those players and families most in need,” said FIFPro president Philippe Piat.
“Many of these clubs have shut to avoid paying outstanding wages, immediately re-forming as so-called new clubs,” he added, describing the practice as unscrupulous.
FIFA said that, since last year, it has tried to clamp down on the practice of new clubs being formed “with the prime aim of avoiding players their overdue salaries.”
FIFA said the fund will be operational by July 1.
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