2.2 Legal

Obtaining Justice

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 recognised football tribunals. If you are a member of a national player association, you should always turn to this association for legal advice first.

What you should know

We strongly advise players to join their local player association

Your local association can assist you with making a claim. They 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 - and 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.

Since 2018, the rules have been changed

From 1 June 2018, FIFA agreed to change rules so that 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 also no longer write so-called "grace periods'' into contracts which allow them to pay player wages late, and players can start legal proceedings with a view to leaving a club which is behaving in an “abusive way” towards them.

FIFPRO Ball 1100
Fair Trial and Due Process Player story

Alex Dos Santos: "I was worried something would happen to me"

At the end of last year, Brazilian footballer Alex Dos Santos felt trapped in his apartment in Indonesia. A dispute over unpaid wages with his former club escalated to the extent that he was scared of going outside.

Alex Dos Santos PHOTO 2022 07 19 15 01 28
Fair Trial and Due Process Player story

Catalina Quezada: "We feel like game changers for Chilean football"

Catalina Quezada is a 27-year-old defender, who made history in Chilean women's football on 1 July 2022, alongside her team-mates Nicole Marinelarena, Constanza Villanueva and Alexandra Cruz, by becoming the first professional women's players to win a labour lawsuit against a club in their country.

Catalina Quezada playing