Sunday, February 1, 1998

Stand up for their rights (The Malay Mail)

MALAYSIAN footballers are paying a heavy price for not knowing their
Despite the fact that Malaysian soccer has gone professional for several
years now, there are still many cases of players being exploited by State
There are many players without a job this season because they have been
dropped despite having existing contracts. And these are men whose
livelihood is playing football.
These players also have had their contracts terminated without being
Basically, this is the consequence of players not knowing their rights
and not having adequate protection as a result. This, despite having the
Players' Status Committee, setup by the FA of Malaysia, to turn to.
As a result, more State FAs are acting unprofessionally, treating the
players like so much extra baggage when it suits them.
States have the right to terminate contracts, but in most cases they do
not offer any compensation which is the player's right.
Not many players are aware that the FAs have to honour the contract up
to a certain point and not deny the player his dues.
For example, an injured player is allowed to be absent from training and
from performing his obligations under the agreement, for a period stated
in the medical certificate up to 30 days, during which time he shall be
paid full salary.
In his absence for the next 60 days, he shall be entitled to 50 per cent
of his basic salary.
Of late, many States have terminated the contracts of players because
they want to effect changes to the team.
The FAs have the right to make changes, but proper procedure must be
followed. The players should not be exploited in the process.
But more often than not, players are dropped without any discussion or
an amicable settlement.
Sadly, the players, ignorant of their rights, do nothing about it and
start looking for another team to join.
And if they subsequently decide to seek compensation, the FAs throw the
book at them, saying the players, in not attending training, had
effectively failed to fulfil their contracts.
There are players who know their rights and have collected settlements
for the termination of their contracts from the State FA or through the
Players' Status Commit- tee, but they are a minority.
Players have to learn to protect their own rights. Nobody else will.

a) The agreement expires and ceases to have any force on 31st December
of each year under Clause I (which is the period of the contract) unless
renewed or extended for a further period.or
b) The agreement may be terminated at any time by mutual consent of the
State FA and the player, subject to terms and conditions agreed between
c) The agreement may also be terminated by the State FA by giving one
month's notice or one month's salary in lieu of such notice.
d) The agreement many be terminated by the State FA without notice if
the Player is dismissed summarily under Clause 4 (Discipline and
Disciplinary reasons as listed in the contract) or ...
1) If the player is suspended from playing football for more than three
2) If the State FA's medical officer certifies that the player is
permanently disabled;
3) If the medical officer certifies that the player is unfit to play for
a period of 90 days or more.