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Football - Gabon: 82% of players without salary

Football - Gabon: 82% of players without salary

The National Association of Professional Footballers of Gabon (ANFPG) has called on the local authorities, and in particular the National Professional Football League (LINAF), regarding the situation of players in the championship who have still not received their salaries. Although the championship started three months ago, the vast majority of them have still not been paid.

82% of the players in Gabon's national football league have not received a single salary since the start of the season. This is the striking figure revealed by the National Association of Professional Footballers of Gabon (ANFPG). The championship, which was relaunched last April after a two-year halt, is already at a standstill. Faced with this situation, the body defending the interests of players was keen to sound the alarm and call on the National League of Professional Football (LINAFP) and its partners to regularize the situation as soon as possible.

"All members of the ANFPG expect to receive their salaries by 7 July 2022 at the latest in cash, by cheque or by bank transfer or any other electronic means of payment," the association said in a statement. In response, the league blamed the situation on the clubs, saying they had not followed the procedure to receive the payments. The body said that of the 24 clubs in National 1 and 2, only five have received their payments and that for nine others, the files are pending payment. "The national league of professional football has reminded club officials of the procedure to be implemented for the payment of salaries of professional footballers," the body said, mentioning that payments could only be made by bank transfer.

A response far from satisfying the ANFPG, which has severely challenged the justifications of the League. In a new statement, the association of Gabonese players was keen to denounce the pretexts put forward by the League to try to justify these three months without salaries for 82% of players. It was particularly keen to point out that: "Law No. 22/2021 on the labor code in the Gabonese Republic does not make it compulsory to pay salaries by bank transfer. The LINAFP/Professional Clubs agreement of 26/04/2022 cannot therefore replace this law, in its article 181, for matters related to the employment contract. In sum, footballers can be paid by all types of means provided for by Gabonese law.

According to the LINAFP, the salary of a Gabonese D1 player is around 250,000 CFA francs per month (about 381 euros). For the season from April to September, each player should receive 1.5 million CFA francs (around 2,290 euros). If the situation of the players is not quickly regularized, the ANFPG fears that it will once again find itself in the same situation that led to a debt of nearly 1.5 billion CFA francs (around 2.3 million euros) owed to the footballers, accumulated over five seasons. This situation has led some players to give up football in an attempt to find a new career in another field.

Recently, Fifpro, the world players' union, issued a warning about transfers during the transfer period. It warned footballers against signing for clubs in Algeria, China, Greece (Super League 2), Libya, Romania, Saudi Arabia and Turkey because of systematic and widespread contractual violations in these countries. A list that ANFPG fears Gabon will join without radical change.


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