FIFPRO Statement: Raphael Ayagwa


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FIFPRO welcomes the decision of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) in the matter between the Nigerian player, Raphael Ayagwa, and the Egyptian club, Aswan SC, where it was found that the player lawfully terminated his contract.

By the end of the 2022/23 season of the Egyptian first league, Aswan SC were relegated after which they demanded Ayagwa sign a document in the Arabic language, which the player refused because he did not speak Arabic. He was held against his will by a club official and physically attacked, resulting in injuries to his chest, arm, and knee. His phone and bags were confiscated by club officials.

Given the egregious circumstances, the player flew to Nigeria and immediately terminated his contract invoking “just cause” on the basis of article 14 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.

The FIFA DRC ruled Ayagwa should receive unpaid wages and compensation for the early termination of his contract; it imposed a player transfer ban on Aswan SC for two transfer windows. Also, considering the injuries and trauma caused to him, the FIFA DRC awarded the player moral damages equivalent to six months of wages.

FIFPRO Africa provided legal support for Ayagwa.

"I want to thank FIFPRO Africa for their help and professionalism during a very unfortunate and difficult period of my career," he said. "I’m glad justice is served and hope that this judgment will serve as a lesson and deterrent to other clubs."