FIFPRO, the international players’ union, has issued a stern warning to Nigerian players and other footballers against signing with clubs in Egypt, Soccernet.ng reports.
The caution comes in light of a disturbing rise in labour conflicts involving issues such as non-payment of salaries and abusive behaviour within the Egyptian football scene.
Currently, there are around 30 Nigerian players plying their trade in the esteemed English Premier League, with several others showcasing their talents in the second-tier of English football.
Emeka Eze and Anthony Okpotu are currently associated with Al Masry, while Paul Joules, Favour Akem, Akinade Ibukun can be found at El Geish.
Additionally, Smouha boast the talents of Sodiq Ougola, Abubakar Liday, and Junior Ajayi, with the latter already encountering welfare issues with the club.
Ghazl El Mehalla employ Gabriel Ibitham and Charles Ekpenyong, while Samuel Amadi and Ibrahim Ayoula are affiliated with Ceramica Cleopatra.
Furthermore, more players from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) have expressed interest in pursuing opportunities in Egypt.
Nonetheless, FIFPRO has strongly advised Nigerian players, as well as other footballers, to exercise extreme caution when considering a move to the Egyptian league.
In a statement on their website, the players’ union highlights the increasing labour conflicts and emphasizes that such a move may potentially lead to legal proceedings.
In light of this, FIFPRO provides valuable recommendations to protect players’ interests. They stress the importance of not surrendering their passports to club officials, instead suggesting the provision of photocopies or insisting on personal presence during formalities.
FIFPRO also warns against signing blank contracts, as clubs have been known to manipulate these by later inserting different details. Players are urged to retain a signed original version of their contract and ensure that the currency is fixed to prevent club manipulation.
Additionally, players are advised to approach agent dealings with caution, seeking support from trusted parties in case of disputes.
Should disputes arise, seeking redress before the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) is encouraged, as Egyptian sports decision-making bodies are deemed lacking in impartiality and fairness.
Finally, FIFPRO highlights the possibility of clubs requesting International Transfer Certificates through intermediaries, urging players to meticulously document such processes for future evidentiary purposes.
As Nigerian players and footballers from other nations continue to eye moves to Egypt, FIFPRO’s timely warning serves as a crucial reminder to exercise vigilance and protect their rights and interests in an increasingly challenging football landscape.