March 23 – Acolfutpro, Colombia’s players union and an arm of FIFPro, has warned that local club presidents are using the outbreak of the coronavirus to pressure players into renegotiating their contracts.
Colombian football is in lockdown as the country battles the corona pandemic that has claimed more than 14,500 lives globally. Colombia has had 196 confirmed cases, according to the latest data from the World Health Organisation.
But the lack of matches, according to Acolfutpro, has led club presidents to seek to lower the players’ salary and thus cut wages.
“We have received information that some club presidents are not complying with the guidelines given by the government through the ministry of labour and are pressing players, so that they can modify their contracts and lower their salaries, following the suspension of all competitions,” wrote Acolfutpro in a statement. “It is worth remembering that the ministry of labour recently delivered a series of protective measures through the Circular 0021, on the occasion of the containment phase of COVID-19.”
The statement went on to say that “these determinations that the clubs intend to justify are not proportional with the current situation, since the salaries of football players should be included in their respective annual assumptions.”
This year Colombia had also been scheduled to co-host the Copa America, a period of inactivity that would not have affected the players’ salaries. In light of the coronavirus outbreak, the continental tournament has been postponed for a year.
It is not the first time that Acolfutpro has sounded the alarm bell over the well-being and labour conditions of its members. Last year, Colombian football became embroiled in a scandal over the systematic abuses of country’s women’s national team.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1586307937labto1586307937ofdlr1586307937owedi1586307937sni@o1586307937fni1586307937