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Cyprus tops FIFPro black list

Cyprus tops FIFPro black list

By Christos Meliopoulos - Nicosia

Professional football in Cyprus has been dealt a severe reputational blow following an official public warning by FIFPro to players to avoid signing for Cypriot clubs due to a record of not meeting contractual payment terms.

The international federation of professional players has announced it is giving “a negative recommendation to players who want to sign with clubs in Cyprus, Greece or Turkey”, especially those that don't play in European football.

The warning follows a previous one issued by Dutch players' union VVCS, whose chairman had eloquently expressed his worries and consternation over the conduct of some clubs in Cyprus towards footballers signing contracts by saying “Don’t do it!” FIFPro has gone a step further asking national footballers' associations to support its negative recommendation. It has also said that players interested in moving to Cyprus should contact the national association of players in order to confirm the financial status of the involved club.

“It's in July and August that clubs go in search of new blood, and professional footballers seek to change clubs. Clubs do everything possible to win players over, offering them fabulous wages, a luxurious home, ambitious plans, a bonus for signing a contract, a bonus scheme or a percentage of a future transfer payment. Unfortunately, FIFPro has found that many clubs don't keep these promises,” reads FIFPro’s statement.

The federation has found that especially in Cyprus, Turkey and Greece the clubs turn out to be short of financial resources, so the player has to wait months to be paid his wages. He very often never collects. Some players find themselves forced to abandon their houses, because the club cannot or will not continue paying the rent. And bonuses are never mentioned again.

According to FIFPro, recorded cases show that Cyprus has for years occupied the first position, by a wide margin, as regards the number of disputes submitted to the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber, while Greece and Turkey are vying for second position. In all three countries, the number of disputes increases every year. The only exceptions are the clubs that play in European football; these accept the UEFA club licensing system, which reduces the risks.

During the previous football season FIFPro had got involved in the case of Cesar Castro of Venezuela who had made a police complaint against people unknown to him, alleging that they had attacked him and made him sign papers which stated that he did not have any claim over money he was owned by his club, Olympiakos Nicosia. Olympiakos had denied any involvement.

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