Soccer union warns of high-risk countries for salary default

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Soccer players have been cautioned by their trades union about joining clubs in China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey among countries with “systematic and widespread contractual violations.”

FIFPRO, the global group of player unions, said on Tuesday its national members should be consulted about prospective transfers and free-agent signings.

In the first full week of offseason trading in most of Europe, Turkey and Romania were singled out for longstanding issues at multiple clubs including defaulting on salary payments.

The Netherlands-based union said players had “little or no chance” of getting their contracted money when Romanian clubs enter insolvency, and Greek second-tier clubs “frequently shut down without honoring their debts.”

“Non-payment of salaries is also a recurring problem for players in Algeria, China and Saudi Arabia,” FIFPRO added.

FIFA has teamed with FIFPRO to offer players some help with $4 million set aside this year to help players who have not been paid.

Soccer’s world body is also trying to speed the legal process for players pursuing claims in Zurich against their former clubs. Cases often then go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and can take many months or years to resolve.

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