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Carlos González Puche, the president of the Colombian footballers’ association ACOLFUTPRO, has criticized the football clubs of Colombia, because various teams  from the country’s top division have failed to fulfil their financial plights.

 

González Puche, lawyer and former player, vented his concerns after last week’s extraordinary assembly of ACOLFUTPRO, attended by captains from 31 of the 36 clubs in the first and second division. He spoke about the many economic problems that teams from the first division are coping with. He confessed he was surprised by the debts of Deportivo Cali, a club that rarely had to deal with debts in the past according to González Puche. ‘Deportivo Cali was a team that usually paid on time, but now it owes two months of salaries.’

 

The ACOLFUTPRO assembly decided to make a resolution, wherein it calls on the national authorities, the presidents of the national football association (FCF) and football league (Dimayor) to ensure compliance of the rules and regulations, to make use of the existing disciplinary legislation, and to establish a collective bargaining agreement between the clubs and the footballers before the end of this year.

 

González Puche (pictured right) was not the only one criticizing the current state of Colombian football. ACOLFUTPRO’s vice president Fabián Vargas (pictured left) said he was ‘very concerned about the situation in Colombian football’. The midfielder of Almería and the Colombian national team dared to say that ‘we can see that there is still no professional football in Colombia. It is more amateur football than anything else.’

 

Vargas  was shocked to learn that his former club América Cali still owes eight months of salaries to its footballers. ‘This is a very difficult situation for the players, as well as the administration.’ The 30-year old midfielder has asked for the authorities to take matters into their hands, to avoid the downfall of the club. ‘América is dying’, warned Vargas.

 

‘The financial situation of Colombia is worrying’, concluded González Puche after the assembly. ‘It was a very productive meeting, because we received a lot of feedback about what is happening at the clubs, and about what the clubs are doing. We are concerned about the economic situation of the clubs. We thought that with the money of Postobon (the sponsor of the professional football league) we could make a step forward, but unfortunately it was just used to cover up the debts in football. This was a meeting that put the Colombian football into context.’