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If clubs, football associations and all other stakeholders take the fight against match-fixing seriously, then they must take care that all players contracts are respected and all professional footballers receive their salaries in time.

 

The third day of the FIFPro general assembly kicked off with an issue that is high on the agenda of FIFPro and all its players associations: match-fixing. The morning started with impressive presentations from investigative reporter Declan Hill and former professional footballer turned victim of match-fixing Mario Cizmek. Their presentations were followed by a valuable panel discussion that proved that all representatives are taking match-fixing very seriously.

 

The discussion centered around one crucial fact: professional footballers are more vulnerable when they are not paid their salaries on time. Declan Hill, who has just finished his research into match-fixing confirmed that he found the scientific proof for this. This is a welcome support for FIFPro and all players associations, as they have stated on numerous occasions that the issue of non-payment is crucial in this fight.

 

As Sergio Marchi, president of the Argentinian association FAA said: ‘During this congress we have mentioned that Diego Mendieta died because he did not receive his salary. We’ve talked about Zahir Belounis being kept in Qatar who has not been paid for two years. Mario Cizmek just explained that he did what he did because he had not been paid for ten months. Need I say more?’

 

‘We must stop this financial violence against the players.’

 

FIFPro calls on all football associations and all leagues to introduce a financial fairplay system with effective sanctioning instruments that guarantee that the payment of players’ salaries is enforced.

 

FIFPro Lawyer Wil van Megen: ‘Cyprus is a good example. Clubs that (want to) participate in European club football must comply with the financial fairplay rules. There are no problems with salary payment at those clubs. That proofs this system works.’

 

FIFPro wants to remind that the footballers are the victims of match-fixing. They are never the initiator. Players are at the bottom of the match-fixing chart. To prevent the match-fixers from getting to the players, the entire football world must create a safe environment for the players. That should guarantee that the footballers cannot be found in a situation where he can be tempted to get involved with match-fixing. 

 

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Panel discussion: Mario Cizmek, Declan Hill and Wil van Megen