In recent times FIFPRO has seen a spike in labour conflicts in Egypt, concerning both the non-payment of salaries and abusive behaviour such as the confiscation of passports, forgery, and blackmail.
FIFPRO therefore warns players that a move to Egypt has a high chance of resulting in legal proceedings. If a player is going to sign with a club in Egypt, FIFPRO strongly advises the following:
- Do not hand over your passport to a club official. If a club tells you they need your passport to obtain a residence or work permit, instead provide them with a photocopy of your passport or insist that you will come along for those formalities. FIFPRO has dealt with several matters where the return of a passport was made conditional on the player signing a termination agreement.
- Do not sign a blank contract, no matter what a club tells you. FIFPRO has seen numerous cases in which a club and player sign one contract containing all details. Thereafter, the player is asked to sign a number of blank contracts with the club promising that those will be filled out later in the same way and deposited at the FA. It is not uncommon that these contracts are then filled out with different amounts, different dates, and different duration.
- Keep one signed, original version of the contract. Do not fall into a trap of the club stating all copies must be approved by the FA. Always keep one version containing the signatures of you and the club.
- Before signing a contract, ensure the right currency has been fixed so that the club cannot change the currency. Egypt has a standard players contract in which amounts are pre-fixed as USD or EGP. If you leave the currency open when you sign the contract, the club could take advantage of this. Likewise, the standard contract has one blank page which the player and club can agree upon additional clauses in handwriting. Ensure all clauses have been agreed before signing a contract; in case of any remaining empty spaces, said empty spaces should be crossed out so that a club cannot add clauses after the signature of the contract.
- Be extremely cautious when dealing with agents and the club. If you do not have a trusted long-term relationship with the agent and they only became your agent in the context of the employment discussions with the club in Egypt, it is rare that they will genuinely act in your interest and instead will prefer to maintain their relationship with the club. In case of dispute, immediately reach out to your local union, FIFPRO, or an independent lawyer.
- Make sure you can seek redress before the FIFA DRC. The sports decision-making bodies in Egypt do not comply with the basic requirements of impartiality and independence, and they do not guarantee fair proceedings.
- Be aware that not all clubs in Egypt have their own FIFA TMS account and a club can therefore request the International Transfer Certificate via another club. If you are asked to engage in such process – which normally entails the signing of additional contract – ensure that you document this so you can prove what has happened.