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The Swedish association for professional footballers SFS wants to end misbehaviour of clubs, who ban players who refuse to sign a contract extension. ‘We want to take this to court.’


Unfortunately, it is a common strategy for some clubs, and not only in Sweden. A player who is almost out of contract, is asked by his club to sign a contract extension. When the player agrees, everything is alright. But if the player refuses and wishes to see out the remainder of his contract, then the club reacts with all sorts of sanctions: the player is banned from playing matches, or even banished from training with the first team, and sometimes even relegated to practise with a youth team.


Recently the SFS has noticed a couple of cases in Sweden. Emil Berger declined to sign a new contract with Degerfors IF (second division). The club banned the 20-year old midfielder from playing games. AIK Solna treated Walid Atta exactly the same, after the 24-year old defender had refused to pen a new deal with the club from the Allsvenskan, the country’s top division.


The SFS wants to take action against clubs like AIK Solna and Degerfors IF. The footballers’ union is hoping to find a player, who is willing to go to the national dispute resolution chamber (NDRC) with the SFS. ‘It is not the first time, that these things have happened. We want to put an end to this’, the SFS said in a statement.


‘This is reprehensible behaviour by a club, to put strong pressure on a player, in order to extend a contract against the will of this footballer. We believe that this is a serious breach of contract that gives the player the right to terminate his contract, seek damages and go to another club on a free transfer.’


‘After the Bosman case, the player has the obvious right to complete a contract and to determine his own future. We do not mind that players extend their contracts, even though they intend to move to another club. But if they do that, they have to do it without being pressured to do so.’