The initiative will provide financial support to players who have not been paid and have no chance of duly receiving their wages
Kenyan Premier League (KPL) players who have suffered for long without salaries from their respective clubs could soon smile all the way to the bank.
This is after Fifa and Fifpro – the world players’ union – set up a global fund to protect players’ salaries. The Fifa Fund for Football Players (Fifa FFP) will provide financial support to players who have not been – and will not be – paid by their clubs.
According to the Fifa website, the world governing body has set aside USD 16m for the fund up to 2022, with this allocation to be divided as follows: USD 3m in 2020, USD 4m in 2021 and USD 4m in 2022, plus a further USD 5m set aside for the retroactive protection of players’ salaries for the period between July 2015 and June 2020.
Fifa President Gianni Infantino has welcomed this new initiative, stating on the website: “This agreement and our commitment to helping players in a difficult situation show how we interpret our role as world football’s governing body.
“We are also here to reach out to those in need, especially within the football community, and that starts with the players, who are the key figures in our game.”
The statement could come as a relief to several clubs in the Kenyan top-flight who have gone for several months without paying their players and the technical bench.
As at December last year, Kenyan champions Gor Mahia had not paid players’ salaries for the past six months, while Sony Sugar, who were relegated to the lower division, after skipping three matches, had gone for seven months.
“More than 50 clubs in 20 countries have shut [down] in the last five years, plunging hundreds of footballers into uncertainty and hardship,” said Fifpro president Philippe Piat.
“This fund will provide valuable support to those players and families most in need. Many of these clubs have shut [down] to avoid paying outstanding wages, immediately re-forming as so-called new clubs.”
According to Fifa, the new system will come into operation on July 1, 2020.