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The professional footballers of Romanian club Metalul Resita have had enough of the way they are being treated by their club, which has not paid them for 3 up to 10 months, and even abandoned them after a lost away match, 350 kilometres from their home ground.

During their match against Olimpia Satu Mare, last Saturday 14 November, the players of the second league club protested on the pitch in an identical fashion earlier displayed by among others their colleagues of Racing Santander in 2014. After kick-off they stood motionless until the referee officially ended the match in the third minute.

The Metalul Resita players unveiled a huge banner saying "Fotbalişti 2015 = sclavi", Footballers in 2015 are slaves. It is a sign of their despair and frustration, as until Saturday the club directors had remained deaf for the players’ complaints concerning non-payment of their wages, the poor training conditions and the fact that the club – after a 4-0 loss at CS Mioveni on 11 November – simply left the players at Mioveni, which is 350 kilometres from Resita (a 6-hour drive).

The Romanian players’ union, AFAN, fully supports the Metalul Resita squad. For next weekend, AFAN is organising a protest that will see that before the start of each second division match, the players of every team will display a banner with the text “Respect Resita”.

FIFPro is very concerned about the situation of the Metalul Resita players and backs the AFAN protest, said Secretary General Theo van Seggelen. “It is shocking that in modern-day football players are waiting for three up to ten months on the payment of their salaries. Apparently clubs don’t want to respect contracts and can get away with this kind of disrespectful and inhuman behaviour.”

“These players are no millionaires. They have signed contracts with modest wages, which they don’t even receive. They have families to feed and bills to pay, but no money.”

“Unfortunately there are too many Metalul Resita’s in the world of football. This is exactly why FIFPro recently decided to file a complaint at the European Commission, in order to tackle the current transfer system which is mostly at fault for these players’ misery.”

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