French players’ union seeks protection for players from ‘moral coercion’ by clubs

January 16 – In a rare move, France’s main football union is launching legal action to protect professional players from the mental pressure their clubs put on them when they are cold-shouldered until they sign a new contract or agree to just leave.

The UNFP wants to highlight the bullying they claim players have to endure when their clubs banish them in order to force them into extending their deals or agreeing on a transfer when they are no longer wanted.

With the winter transfer window up and running in Europe, the UNFP says it has commissioned a law firm to lodge a complaint with the Paris public prosecutor for extortion and harassment.

“These practices which are widespread – 180 players since the start of the current season – are even claimed by the clubs, who no longer hesitate to use sophisticated means of communication to complete the ostracization of the players concerned,” the union said in a statement.

“The use of moral coercion to induce a person to agree to sign or terminate a contract constitutes the offence of extortion,” it added.

Earlier this season, French football’s biggest star Kylian Mbappé was excluded from a pre-season tour of Asia and barred from training with Paris Saint-Germain’s first team amid a contract dispute with the club.

The striker later returned after “constructive and positive talks” between the two parties, the club said, though details of the supposed deal reached between Mbappé and PSG have not been revealed.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1716629669labto1716629669ofdlr1716629669owedi1716629669sni@w1716629669ahsra1716629669w.wer1716629669dna1716629669