FIFPRO calls on Cairo-based club Al Ahly to stop unfair treatment of Egyptian national team player Abdallah El Saeed (also known as Abdallah Mahmoud Saeed Bekhit).
In May 2018, Al Ahly signed an agreement with Saudi Arabian club, Al Ahli, for the transfer of the player. A clause forbade the Saudi club from the “resale” of Abdallah El Saeed to a club in Egypt for three seasons, subject to a penalty of USD 2,000,000.
FIFPRO considers such non-compete clauses not only to be illegal but also to violate article 18bis of FIFA’s transfer regulations.
After the player and the Saudi club mutually terminated their employment contract, the player returned to Cairo signing for Pyramids FC, a rival of Al Ahly, in January 2019. Ever since, Al Ahly has persistently pursued legal action against the player.
FIFA has already dismissed Al Ahly’s claim against the Saudi club because the player was out of contract and, therefore, there was no “resale”. However, the club then filed a claim exclusively against the player in front of an arbitration center affiliated to the Egyptian Olympic Committee which rendered an appalling decision ordering him to pay USD 2,000,000 to Al Ahly.
The player appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport where he obtained multiple provisional measures suspending the enforcement of the decision. This however did not stop Al Ahly from pursuing the matter in Egypt, obtaining an order to freeze the player’s bank account.
FIFPRO Legal Director Roy Vermeer said: "We are appalled by the conduct of Al Ahly, which is continuing to make a player’s life a living nightmare because its officials are upset he plays for their competitor now.
"Football ought to be based on the freedom of movement of players, and fair competition between club and there is no place for non-compete clauses. We call upon Al Ahly to immediately stop legal claims against Abdallah El Saeed."