With legal disputes, consult your player association first

24 September 2019
We are committed to helping players who have legal difficulties.

Football’s legal framework is different from other industries.

As a professional player, you should in most cases file employment-related claims before recognized football tribunals.

If you are a member of a national players association you should always turn to this association for legal advice first.

For this reason, among others, we strongly advise players to always join their local player association.

“It's so important for players to have a union, to have someone to turn to when they need help”

— by Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur & England
Talking To Players 2
Players in Buenos Aires listen to Sergio Marchi, general secretary of the Argentine player union

The association will assist you with making a claim.

It can also give you important advice about your contract before you sign with a club.

Most complaints by players are about unpaid wages.

Our survey of 14,000 players in 2016 found that 41 percent of players had been paid late in the previous two seasons.

In one country this was as high as 95 percent.

We also found more than 700 players (6 percent) had been isolated from the rest of the squad, a tactic used  to make players rescind their contract.

We followed up our research by asking football authorities to urgently address these issues.

FIFA oversees international disputes between clubs and players.

From June 1, 2018, FIFA agreed to changes rules so:

  • Players have a legal justification to leave a club if they give 15 days' notice after not being paid for two straight months
  • Clubs can no longer write so-called "grace periods'' into contracts which allow them to pay player wages late
  • Players can start legal proceedings with a view to leaving a club which is behaving in an “abusive way” towards them

Before terminating an employment contract, you should always contact your national player association or a specialized sports lawyer.

“I really appreciate the support which FIFPRO gave me - you helped me win my case”

— by Sebino Plaku, professional footballer

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