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FIFPro urges the Maltese Football Association (MFA) to revise its regulations in order to better protect the players from clubs who refuse to respect the players' contracts and refuse to pay their players what they are owed. 

 

‘The current situation is unacceptable’, says Theo van Seggelen, FIFPro Secretary General. ‘I cannot understand that the MFA allows players to be treated unequally. They should introduce a more efficient sanctioning system in order to force the clubs to pay all players what they are due.’

 

FIFPro and the Maltese professional footballers association (the MFPA, which represents approximately 250 players) have several times reported the situation on Malta, where many players have to wait on the payment of their salaries. Recently the MFA sanctioned two clubs due to non-payment: Floriana FC and Hamrun Spartans.

 

However, the sanctions are practically ineffective. The first sanction was a transfer ban for the clubs. The clubs are not allowed to sign or sell players until they have paid the players in question. The ban came into operation a week after the January transfer window closed, meaning that the ban will only be effective when the summer transfer window opens in July.

 

The possibility of a second sanction appeared to have more success for the MFA and the players. After the MFA had threatened to deduct one point from both Hamrun Spartans and Floriana FC, both clubs paid the two players in question, Rupert Mangion and Aaron Brown.

 

Even though two players got paid, the MFPA immediately reacted with disappointment: ‘Other players who, before these two, complained to the MFA because of money due and unpaid salaries are still waiting to be paid by the same two clubs, in particular Steve Bonnici (Hamrun Spartans) and Duncan Pisani and Aman Verma (Floriana FC)’.

 

That is still the case today, even though the players once again wrote to the Control and Disciplinary Board of the MFA to inform them of their situation.

 

The MFA Control and Disciplinary Board has scheduled a new meeting for April 24th. The MFPA does not have high hopes: ’The Board will probably deduct one point from Floriana, which will not make any difference in the table as Floriana are safe from relegation.’

 

Most probably the players will have to wait until the beginning of July as the clubs will definitely have to pay their dues before selling or buying players during the summer transfer window.

 

FIFPro and the MFPA cannot accept this situation. The players have been waiting many months for the money they are due. Their lives have become problematic, as Aman Verma testifies. The 26-year old English player signed last August at Floriana FC. In December he left the club because he had not received three months of wages. In the five months since then, he has been waiting in vain for the money he is owed.

 

‘I need this money to support my family’, Verma told FIFPro. ‘I am just beside myself that this is being allowed and the club have not received any punishment for over 5 months. Are the MFA aware of my situation and that I am at risk of losing my house and having to live with my parents, as we have a new-born baby?’