Forty-one percent of African footballers receive their salaries late or are not paid at all, a study conducted by the international players union, FIFPro has revealed.
According to the Secretary General of the international players union, FIFPro, Mr Theo van Seggelen, a labour market research of 14,000 players in 54 African countries found that 41% of football professionals do not get a salary and 45% earn less than $1,000 a month.
Mr van Seggelen made this known on Wednesday when he addressed the 2017 FIFPro Division Africa General Assembly at the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra.
He said FIFPro finds the situation unacceptable and was hopeful of putting an end to the situation after holding talks with Confederation of African Football vice president Kwesi Nyantakyi today.
“I understand that we will meet the CAF vice president and the president of the Ghanaian federation, Kwesi Nyantakyi. I really look forward to speaking with him and I will like to confront him and you also with the facts, as you all know we have published our labour market research which shows that still, 41% of professional players in Africa do not receive their salaries on time or even are not paid at all,” Mr van Seggelen said in an address to a gathering of FIFPro members from across Africa.
“This is something for FIFpro which is not acceptable and I really hope that we can convince FIFA, the clubs and also the leagues that we have to make an end of that it is our collective responsibility and we must not rest till we tackle it.
“The football player has a very short career which is his job and work and everybody working in the world has to be paid and why not our professional players and this a priority and we must stop this before the end of the year,” he stressed.
His comments were re-echoed by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah who advocated for the introduction of standardised contracts which will provide a basic salary for all players in the local league. who also addressed the Congress.
Mr Asiamah said the situation where footballers became destitute in retirement must be consigned to the past, stating that the MOYS was hoping to compliment the efforts of the PFAG by establishing a sports fund which will contribute a portion of its proceeds to cater for retired players.
He said, retired footballers must be role models to the youth of the country who must look to them for inspiration and not as cautionary tales.
The two-day FIFPro Division Africa General Assembly which ends today was addressed by Liberty Professionals and Black Stars defender, Samuel Sarfo, the General Secretary of the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana, Tony Baffoe and the Chairman of the GFA Player Status Committee, Lawyer Opoku Agyemang who all pledged their commitment to the welfare of players in Africa.
Also present at the Congress was deputy Black Stars coach, Ibrahim Tanko, former Ghana internationals, Samuel Osei Kuffuor and Yussif Chibsah, Wa All Stars skipper, Hafiz Adams as well as former Cameroonian international, Geremi Njitap.
After a short break for interviews, the membership of the FIFpro Congress later held closed-door deliberations ahead of a scheduled unveiling of their offices later in the day.