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'Tósìn Akínyemí ⚽ @Akinyemiesq
, 20 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I feel like talking about the inept manner footballers in the #NPFL & #NNL handle salaries being owed them by the football clubs they play(ed) for.

Why do most of them go about begging their Club Chairman, the Governor and/or Commissioner for Sports of the state?

#SportsLaw
So why do they beg for the money like it were some loan or gift they are asking for?

...and some even keep mute.
About two weeks ago, a player was at our office and mentioned that his club has been constantly deducting a part of his salary for about 10 months without a reason.
I intend to address this perception of players, especially the mindset that sports employment disputes cannot be tabled before the regular courts.

Below is what players can do.. 👇
1. Non-Nigerian Players in the Nigerian league.

If you are a non-Nigerian player owed by a Nigerian football club, you can have your claim/case filed at the Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) of FIFA. The DRC will accept such a case because it is of "international dimension".
Guess what? FIFA does not charge footballers filing fees for such employment disputes. The only cost you may incur is the professional fess your Attorney or Representative may charge; which is usually paid after you obtain judgement... known as "contingency fees".
I have had the opportunity to be involved and/or personally represent a few players from countries such as Ghana, Mali, Benin Republic, etc; so I can recommend it to you as a reliable avenue to recover your entitlements.
After you have obtained judgement against the Nigerian club, FIFA gives the club an ultimatum (usually 30 days) within which the club must pay you.
If the club fails to pay within that period, the defaulting club will be referred to the FIFA Disciplinary Commitee which may fine..
...the cub, ban the club from signing players, deduct points from the club's accumulated points , or even ban the club from football competitions until the club complies.
On the other hand, if you are a Nigerian player who has a claim against a Nigerian club, the DRC would often reject it as it is expected to be adjudicated on by the NFF Arbitration Committee.

..that is not the end of the road though.
2. So If you are a Nigerian player, you can have your case submitted to the NFF Arbitration Committee which would give an arbitral Award (a decision) and order the defaulting club to pay you, or face sanctions similar to those above that FIFA dishes out.
However, in reality, many Nigerian players at left stranded because the NFF often fails to enforce the decision by sanctioning defaulting clubs.

In fact, there are arbitral awards that were given as far back as 2010 which have not been complied with by Nigerian clubs till now.
So, if you have or subsequently able to get an arbitral award at the NFF Arbitration Committee, you can approach the regular court (National Industrial Court) to have it enforced.

Note that you must do this within 6 years from the date you obtained the arbitral award.
The principle of "privileged communication" would not allow me talk of players who have lost their entitlements because they failed to enforce such arbitral awards within 6 years as stipulated by the Statute of Limitation.

So enforce compliance rather than beg!
Some may ask the question of what to do in the face of efficiency by the NFF Arbitration Committee, especially that the committee is not constituted at the moment.

The thing is, you may get an Attorney to file an employment dispute on your behalf at a regular court.
The regular court vested with jurisdiction on employment disputes is the National Industrial Court (NIC). This is by virtue of the provisions of Section 254 (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the National Industrial Court Act 2006.
You may wish to know that although Article 68 Para 2 of the FIFA Statutes stipulates that recourse to ordinary courts of law as regards dispute is prohibited, employment disputes do not fall under this prohibition.
A player can decide to file an employment-related dispute to a competent ordinary coirt, because the choice of judge is a fundamental right that cannot be denied.

(See FIFA Commentary, explanation Article 22, page 64)
In fact, there are some some employment disputes which the FIFA DRC rejected on the ground that the parties had already submitted the dispute before the regular courts in their country, and that such courts have jurisdiction to hear the cases.
So except the contract with your club expressly states that disputes cannot be referred to ordinary courts, or states that the NFF Arbitration Committee/FIFA DRC shall have jurisdiction on disputes; then you can approach the National Industrial Court to recover your entitlements.
P.S: This does not constitute a legal advice.

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