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Global football union warns players against signing with Egyptian clubs

Fifpro warns players that move to Egypt could result in legal proceedings
Egyptian football teams Zamalek and Al-Ahly face off in Cairo during the CAF Champions League Final on 27 November 2020.
Egyptian football teams Zamalek and Al-Ahly face off in Cairo during CAF Champions League final, on 27 November 2020 (AFP)

The footballing world's main players' union Fifpro has warned players not to sign with clubs in Egypt, saying that doing so could likely result in "legal proceedings".

"In recent times FIFPRO has seen a spike in labour conflicts in Egypt, concerning both the non-payment of salaries and abusive behaviour such as the confiscation of passports, forgery, and blackmail," the players' union said in a statement on Wednesday.

"FIFPRO, therefore, warns players that a move to Egypt has a high chance of resulting in legal proceedings."

The Dutch-based group advised players that if they do sign with an Egyptian club, then they should make sure not to hand over their passports or sign blank contracts. 

Fifpro counts 65,000 footballers as members made up of 66 national players' associations. 

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The warning came ahead of the opening of the transfer window, a period of time in which players are allowed to sign with new clubs.

Last year, Fifpro issued a similar warning advising players against signing with clubs in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Turkey because of "systematic and widespread contractual violations in those countries".

Non-payment of salaries was a recurring problem for players in Algeria and Saudi Arabia, according to the union.

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In 2013, the union made a similar warning about players signing with clubs in Greece and Turkey. But over the past decade, they have become desirable destinations for football players.

The Middle East region has become a growing market for footballing talent, with Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr last year securing a record deal with Cristiano Ronaldo, who is widely regarded as one of the best players of his generation.

And another star, French football player Karim Benzema, signed a deal to leave his club Real Madrid and join Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad.

And late last year, the football world came together in Doha, Qatar, for the Fifa World Cup, which saw the Moroccan national team make a historic run to reach the semifinals of the tournament.

Morocco has also submitted a bid alongside Spain and Portugal to host the 2030 Fifa World Cup.

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