Sigma Olomouc

Grave concerns about Czech club’s treatment of player

11 August 2020
FIFPRO has grave concerns about the recent treatment of professional football players at some clubs in the Czech Republic, including the imposition of a form of solitary confinement on one footballer.

Ismar Tandir, a Bosnian who was raised in the U.S. and top scorer in the New York Red Bulls academy, has been ordered by Sigma Olomouc to train alone for no apparent reason other than trying to make him terminate his contract early.

The 24-year-old forward, who also played in France and Iceland, was initially demoted to the reserve team after returning from a loan spell in Slovakia. When he complained this was incompatible with the terms of his contract, Sigma Olomouc put him back in the first team but is forcing him to run circles around the pitch while the rest of the squad does regular training. He is no longer called up for matches.

Some clubs in Europe have a history of forcing players to train alone, and employing other bullying tactics to push them to end their contract to reduce their wage bill. This practice continues even though excluding players from group training has repeatedly been designated by FIFA tribunals and the Court of Arbitration for Sport as a breach of contract, violating a player’s so-called personality rights.

FIFPRO calls on Sigma Olomouc to respect professional football regulations, immediately reinstate Ismar Tandir to the first team and to group training.

Photo: Sigma Olomouc line up for a team photograph in 2017. Credit: ANP