Kenya: Why FIFA Could Pay Sony Sugar Players

11 February 2020

Fifa could step in and pay the salaries of Sony Sugar players should the club be disbanded, Nairobi News has established.

Football's world governing body announced this past week that it was teaming up with players Union FIFPRO in setting up a fund to help footballers who go unpaid and have no chance of receiving wages from the club in financial difficulties.

More than 50 clubs across 20 countries - including League One side Bury - have wound up in the last five years, plunging hundreds of players into trouble if they are unable to secure fresh employment.

Kenyan Premier League side Sony Sugar was also relegated this season for failing to honour three league matches and there are reports the club could be disbanded if it fails to secure a sponsor to finance it in the second tier National Super League next season.

The main target of the Fifa fund is to help players whose clubs go out of business to avoid paying wages and are then quickly reformed, giving previous employees no chance to reclaim what they are owed.

UNPAID SALARIES

Grants from the Fund for Football Players will not, according to Fifa, cover the full amount of salary owed but will atleast provide players with a safety net.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has set aside 12.3 million pounds (about Sh16 billion) to help players who go unpaid between 2020-2022. A further 3.8 billion pounds (Sh450 million) has been set aside for players who went unpaid between 2015-2020.

"This agreement and our commitment to helping players in a difficult situation show how we interpret our role as world football's governing body," Infantino said.

The criteria of paying the affected players has not yet been spelled out.

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