MANILA, Philippines – As 2018 comes to a close, Global Cebu FC players have started to reveal their miserable living conditions as a result of unpaid salaries for 3 to 8 months.
Former Azkal Anton del Rosario revealed the sad reality of his teammates during the holidays where some are getting evicted from their homes, falling short on funds to fly back home to their families, and living on cup noodles during a season where Filipinos enjoy noche buena.
Spanish forward Rufo Sanchez – who left the club last May – also revealed that he is still waiting for his wages despite playing in Internacional Madrid, a third division Spanish football club.
Speaking to Rappler, Serbian defender Milan Nikolic even revealed that Global Cebu wanted to terminate the players' contracts which violated FIFA rules.
"I have a contract with Global Cebu until 2020, but they want to terminate just like that – [which] is not correct and they don’t have right to do that," said Nikolic in a message to Rappler.
"When I got that letter, my lawyer for FIFPro [sent] them [a] warning letter that they can’t do that!"
Article 13 of FIFA transfer rules state: "A contract between a professional and a club may only be terminated upon expiry of the term of the contract or by mutual agreement."
FIFA protects the club and the players from contract termination without just cause. If a club is found to be the party in breach, it is mandated to pay compensation and is imposed with sporting sanctions that can go as far as getting banned from signing new players for two registration periods.
According to Nikolic, he didn't even receive any compensation since he signed with the Cebu-based club in August.
The Serb waited for two months until he flew home last October 14. But even if it's the end of the Philippines Football League season, Global Cebu is still obligated to pay them their monthly dues as the players are still under contract.
"Apparently they (Global Cebu} promised that they are going to pay on December 29, but nobody believes [them]," added Nikolic.
During his stint in the United Football League (UFL), Nikolic suited up for Global and the defunct FC Meralco Manila football clubs and enjoyed winning silverware in front of supportive fans.
Nikolic hopes Philippine football will return to its glory days.
"But this is not only about money, now is about pride, and fight for Philippine football," said the 30-year-old Serb.
"I was there in great years, won everything there and players don’t deserve to be treated as rubbish." – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.