New world map charts football conditions and Didier Drogba statement

published on 20 December 2016

Press Release

15 December 2016 - FIFPro today unveils a world map of working conditions in football that shows almost one in three footballers (32%) in Europe that were transferred for a fee to their current club were pressured to move or had a request to join another team rejected. 

Explore the world of professional football with FIFPro’s new interactive map. Go to www.fifpro.org

FIFPro’s global map details country-specific information about pressure on players in the transfer market and other issues such as overdue pay and match-fixing approaches. 

The number is higher than the worldwide average of 29% in the 2016 FIFPro Global Employment Report released last month. 

Of 1,208 Europe-based players surveyed who transferred for a fee to their current club, 20.2% said their request to join a different club was rejected, 7.4% came under pressure from their last club to move and 4.4% were pressured by an agent or third party. 

In the map, FIFPro refers to the sum of these three percentages as players experiencing “restricted freedom of movement.” 

The map shows some of the key issues in football today,” FIFPro general secretary Theo van Seggelen said. “The transfer market is becoming ever more of a moneymaking exercise, where footballers are exploited as commodities. The enormous amount of money circulating in the transfer market is contaminating the sport.” 

While overdue pay (41% worldwide) is a universal problem, players in each continent face different conditions. 

In the Americas, more than half of players (52%) receive less than 10 days annual paid holiday. In Asia, about one in three footballers (34%) said they have faced health risks while playing such as extreme heat. In Africa, 13% of 849 players who moved for a transfer fee do not have a written contract. 

The 2016 FIFPro Global Player Report written by the University of Manchester in the U.K. said that “pre-Bosman” conditions exist in the African transfer market. 

Didier Drogba, Honorary President of FIFPro Division Africa, said clubs are taking advantage of footballers. 

Professional footballers in many African countries do not have the clearly defined status they deserve -- or any status at all,” Drogba said. 

Well done FIFPro for organising this survey -- the first of its kind. I strongly encourage you to read the results. 

Half of the players (in Africa) questioned said they’d had problems getting paid on time in the last two years. That’s unacceptable.” 

Many African footballers have no holiday entitlement and are left without the medical care they need to do their jobs,” Drogba added. 

This has to change. Africa’s professional footballers must be treated as proper employees.” 


 

Didier Drogba’s full statement 

Well done FIFPro for organising this survey – the first of its kind – and giving a voice to footballers worldwide. I strongly encourage you to read the results. 

They show that professional footballers in many African countries do not have the clearly defined status they deserve - or any status at all. 

In Africa, football is not like other jobs. For many players, it’s their only source of income and it takes up all of their time. 

Half of the players questioned said they’d had problems getting paid on time in the last two years. That’s unacceptable. 

Many African footballers have no holiday entitlement and are left without the medical care they need to do their jobs. This has to change. 

Africa’s professional footballers must be treated as proper employees. Only then will they be able to perform to their best. The continent as a whole stands to gain.” 

Didier Drogba is an honorary president of FIFPro's Division Africa. 

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