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The Colombian professional footballers association Acolfutpro and FIFPro welcome the suspension that Coldeportes handed to Deportes Quindío for fielding a junior side in a league match after their professional footballers had refused to play due to three months of unpaid wages and social security.


Carlos González Puche, executive director of Acolfutpro, agrees with the intervention of the Colombian Sports Insitute Coldeportes, even though it is a national governing body. ‘Since the establishment of Acolfutpro in 2004, we have asked Coldeportes to enforce the Sports Law that already had been created in 1996. This law provides sanctions for professional football clubs that fail to fulfill their obligations towards their players.’


‘It took only 15 years to hand out the first sanction…’


‘We expect that in the nearby future there will be at least eight more clubs that will also receive sanctions. Acolfutpro has requested these sanctions because the clubs refuse to comply with the rules and regulations. Therefore, we support the decision taken by the current government to formalize our football.’


FIFA rules prohibit that national governments interfere in football. But González Puche does not expect FIFA to react. ‘Many times we, Acolfutpro, have talked with FIFA about the situation in Colombia. All this time, FIFA has never said a word about the situation in Colombia. Why should it react now? And what should FIFA do: protect the people and clubs who repeatedly refuse to pay the footballers…?’


FIFPro too salutes the intervention of Coldeportes. ‘Although according to the rules it is not the ideal way to handle this problem - since Coldeportes is a national governing body - FIFPro agrees with the sanction. This is necessary. The situation in Colombia is a very special one. Both the federation and the league have made little effort to secure the rights of the professional footballers in their country.’


Earlier this week Dimayor’s president Ramón Jeserún said that the league refused to intervene, because it was entirely the clubs responsibility to pay the salaries of their players.’