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The players of FC AK in South Africa are still living up to their ‘No Pay, No Play’ slogan. The South African Football Players Union [SAFPU] and FIFPro would like to commend the FC AK players for standing together in fighting for their rights.

 

Last Tuesday, 19 January, the players told the management of FC AK (second league) that if they were not paid what was due to them by Wednesday morning, they would not play that Wednesday afternoon’s league match against Witbank Spurs.

 

On Wednesday morning, the players arrived at the Eldorado Park Stadium accompanied by the officials from the South African Football Players Union. They were willing to play on condition their demands were met.

 

Unfortunately that was not the case.

 

The FC AK management did not meet their demands, but nevertheless asked the players to get ready for the match. The players, however, stood firm on their decision: ‘No Pay, No Play’, and the match was not played.

 

SAFPU spokesman Peter Khoabane: ‘This was a good step taken by the players because they feel that their club’s officials do not respect them. This is not the first time that FC AK has been in the situation of not having paid its players.

 

‘However, the question is “Why does the League (PSL) constantly allow FC AK to register new players while they still owe their existing players?” This will not end until the League takes serious measures against teams that do not pay their players. It is about time that all stakeholders find a permanent solution before things gets out of hand.’

 

There were also reports about players receiving anonymous phone calls in efforts to sow division in the squad. Fortunately, the players remain united. Their next match is scheduled for Saturday 2 March.

 

In the meantime, SAFPU has decided to take the players’ case to the national dispute resolution chamber. The players’ union has also sent a written complaint to the League.

 

Khoabane: ‘We urge all the players in South Africa to learn from FC AK and to stand and fight together for their rights. As SAFPU we will protect the players’ rights in every way possible. We will make sure that at the end of the day the players get what is owed them. This is a warning to all the teams out there which are exploiting our members: enough is enough!’