Dani Alves has warned football is failing thousands of players outside the game’s elite.
The Brazilian defender joins Luka Modric and Didier Drogba in backing FIFPro’s campaign to address issues like unpaid wages, bullying and inadequate health care.
Alves, who went unpaid at his first club in Brazil, said poor working conditions of footballers outside the world’s biggest leagues are usually overlooked.
In Brazil, 52% of players do not get paid on time, according to the 2016 FIFPro Global Employment Report. Globally, 41% get wages late or not at all.
“Football has stopped being a humane competition that looks after players,’’ Alves said. “Instead it has become a business, managed like a company.
“The thinking is ‘I invest and I want my return. How am I going to get that? The player must make a sacrifice and I will get my profit.’”
“We have to put this issue on the global stage,” Alves said. “The more they take care of the lower levels the better the end product will be.”
Modric offered his support to less-fortunate footballers in Eastern Europe, where some endure bullying and violence.
In Modric’s native Croatia, 44% of players were pressured into their latest transfer move for a fee, or were not permitted to go to the club they requested, according to FIFPro’s report.
“They have to keep going and fighting for their rights,” Modric said. “If we can help somehow, we are there.’’
Didier Drogba said he was concerned that African players have to pay for their rehabilitation from injury.
Some 52% of players in his native Ivory Coast told FIFPro they were dissatisfied with medical treatment.
“Many African footballers are left without the medical care they need to do their jobs,” Drogba said. They “must be treated as proper employees.”
FIFPro, the world player union which represents 65,000 footballers, is calling for more responsible club management, more equal distribution of income and an end to transfer fee speculation in order to improve working conditions.
“It is important that we look after football’s health from top to bottom,” FIFPro general secretary Theo van Seggelen said.
(Dani Alves photo: Pics United)