Donny Van Iperen 1

Some clubs failing to insure players against serious injury – FIFPRO calls for guarantees


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Donny Van Iperen 1
  • In several recent cases, it emerged that players were not insured after becoming seriously injured

  • A Brazilian player in Iran, and a Dutch footballer in Moldova, among those to suffer career-ending injuries

  • FIFPRO and Dutch union VVCS are supporting a legal claim by Donny van Iperen who cannot play football again

FIFPRO is calling for clubs and competition organisers to guarantee players are insured against serious injury.

In recent seasons, FIFPRO has been contacted by players in Iran, Poland and Moldova who have sustained a severe injury or become permanently unable to play professional football. Despite having employment contracts stipulating that their clubs would take out insurance, it turned out that they had failed to do so on behalf of players.

FIFPRO considers that football governing bodies should rigorously monitor whether clubs comply with their insurance obligations and sanction those who do not.

Among players affected by clubs failing to buy insurance is Donny van Iperen, who became permanently incapable of playing football after a collision on the pitch with an opponent in 2022. His club in Moldova, FC Zimbru Chisinau, had not taken out the relevant insurance despite his employment contract explicitly providing for such obligation.

FIFPRO and its Dutch member, VVCS, are supporting a claim by the 29-year-old Dutch player against the Moldovan club that will be filed should the matter not be resolved amicably.

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Feyenoord players in 2022 showing support for Donny van Iperen

FIFPRO Legal Director Roy Vermeer said: "We have become aware of several cases of players who are not covered by insurance, after they became seriously injured, and we can only assume there are many more out there who have not been covered by their club. This is, of course, completely irresponsible."

Despite repeated requests by Van Iperen’s legal representative, the Moldovan club has not properly addressed its contractual violation in recent months.

"The fact that a club contractually commits to take out insurance, fails to do so and when requested to find a solution refuses to adequately cooperate shows a complete lack of decency towards the player," Vermeer said.

Roy Vermeer
FIFPRO Legal Director Roy Vermeer

In some leagues players are covered by collective agreements that ensures everyone participating is covered by insurance.

"Would this have happened in the Netherlands, the player would have been covered by a collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the Dutch players’ union VVCS with coverage being provided in case of permanent disability," Vermeer said.

"Unfortunately, these collective insurance agreements are the exception rather than the rule in football. We would endorse them as an important measure to support players and their families in case of a serious, life-changing injury."

Previous cases brought to FIFPRO’s attention include the case concerning the Brazilian player, Leandro Padovani, whose suffering from a career-ending accident on the pitch was exacerbated by the failure of his club to take out insurance for him.