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SAFAP, the Peruvian professional footballers’ union, has ended its strike successfully. All the clubs in arrears with the payment of players’ salaries have signed individual agreements with SAFAP on the payment of their debts. Before the end of the current calendar year, all footballers will receive their overdue salaries.

 

Peru’s professional football players had been on strike since Friday 17 February, when SAFAP rejected a plan put forward by the league (ADFP). On that same day, the ADFP had decided, completely unilaterally, that clubs could in future pay their outstanding debts to players over a period of 24 months.

 

SAFAP flatly rejected this proposal, since the regulations of the Football Federation (FPF) and the case law of FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) stipulate that before the start of a new season, all clubs must have either settled their outstanding debts to players or else signed an agreement with SAFAP to pay their debts. The period laid down for the payment of such debts had been fixed as one year maximum.

 

SAFAP could not and did not want to agree to take this backward step. ‘All the football players, that is, 100%, have backed the paralyzation we were imposing, and we had support from several well respected football players, and even trainers’, said SAFAP spokesman Renzo Sanguineti.

 

Some clubs reacted showing a lack of understanding and forced their players to end the action. Sanguineti: ‘There were some clubs that threatened to ditch their players, sack them, exclude them. But in the end this didn’t happen. Similarly, there were some clubs that asked their players to leave the union, but 100% of them didn’t agree.’

 

‘There’s one club, Sport Boys, that fired five players, blaming the paralyzation, but later on their trainer said it was for poor performance among other excuses. We’ve already taken up these cases and they’re now in the legal domain.’

 

And then again there was Club Universidad de Martín (USMP). This was one of the few Peruvian clubs without any payment problems. ‘USMP is one of the few exemplary teams that should be emulated. As a result of the paralyzation, it decided to withdraw from football, calling its footballers disloyal and asking, “Why are they going on strike if this club pays them up to date? This is a club that gives them everything”. USMP tried to turn the players against us, but in the end they didn’t succeed.’

 

The president of USMP initially didn’t want to come back, because, as he said, “football has been contaminated”.

 

Sanguineti: ‘We took up the cases of the thirty USMP footballers who were going to be left without work.' 

 

The FPF (Peruvian Football Federation) did not manage to make USMP return to the competition. Sanguineti: ‘Following that, we (SAFAP) met with the managers of USMP and we succeeded in persuading the club to come back. At our joint meeting they acknowledged their error, and it seems they were not very clear about the reason for the strike. In the end the FPF could include USMP in the tournament without any problems.’

 

 

 

 

(Reuters) - Heavily indebted Peruvian first division club Universitario, who hold a record 25 league titles, had their president Julio Pacheco suspended for two years on Thursday.

 

League body ADFP said Pacheco had presented fraudulent documents to the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) during an investigation into the club’s finances.

 

‘It has been decided to impose on Mr Julio Pacheco the sanction of prohibition on exercising any kind of activity related to football for a period of two years’, an ADFP statement said.
Universitario will therefore become the first club to go into administration following a Peruvian government emergency decree in support of refinancing clubs’ debts in order to prevent their going bankrupt.

 

The decree, signed by President Ollanta Humala, allows creditors to ask for indebted clubs to be put into administration in a move sparked by a player’s strike over unpaid wages that marred the start of the first division championship.