Gabonese player union ANFPG is distributing basic needs to professional footballers who find themselves in financial difficulties at little to no cost.
The aid is for, among others, players who are owed back salary by their (former) clubs.
According to FIFPRO’s 2016 Global Employment Report, 96 percent of players in the country were paid late or not at all. That situation hardly improved since that publication. For example, about 500 footballers are still owed salary from 2016 to 2018. The Covid-19 pandemic only added to the financial hardship players are experiencing.
“The situation for players has been deteriorating over the years,” said union president and former national team player Remy Ebanega. “The corona crisis amplified their needs and made us realize that we had to come up with solutions.”
Since opening its so-called solidarity shop (“Boutique Solidaire”) in the country’s capital Libreville, last month, the ANFPG provided around thirty professional footballers with food, hygiene and health products.
The service is intended for players in the first and second men’s division, former players and active female players. To receive support, these footballers must be union members and explain their challenging circumstances.
The ANFPG aims to build a supporting mechanism for 500 families of professional footballers in the coming two years and, if necessary, vows to open more solidarity shops. The union is also considering supporting other professional athletes in need.
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