Liberia Football Association Sets Minimum Wage for Local Clubs’ Players
Monrovia – Following numerous calls from players on the low salary structure of many Liberian football clubs, the Liberia Football Association (LFA) has set the minimum wage for players in the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP).
According to a September 22,2020 release issued by the FA, the decision is in line with Chapter three, article three, section three of the RSTP, which deals with the eligibility of players.
The Football house informed the clubs and stakeholders that the minimum wage for players in the first division is L$10,000 (US$50), second division at L$5,000 (US$25) and upper women’s division at L$5,000 (US$25).
It further said Article two of the June 2020 FIFA RSTP (including Covid-19 temporary amendments) categorized players as amateur and professional while articles four and five of the LFA RTSP categorized players as amateur, amateur under contract, foreign, semi-professional and amateur; free agent and virgin.
“As per the LFA Connect System, clubs have an option to select a player or players as professional, amateur and amateur under contract,”.
“Clubs are only obliged to pay the minimum wage depending on the status of players,” LFA indicated.
Prior to the setting of the minimum wage by the LFA, many of the clubs had refused to pay their players on grounds that they are not getting much from football in Liberia.
Many of the clubs barely paid their players but demanded huge amounts of money for the players when offers from clubs within Liberian and out of the country came their way.
It is believed that there are few clubs that would not be affected by the new wage for players because they are already paying their players even. These clubs include LISCR FC, Bea Mountain, LPRC Oilers, NPA Anchors, BYC, Nimba United and Nimba Kwadoe.
A professional player is one who has a written contract with a club and is paid more for his footballing activity than the expenses he effectively incurs.
All other players are considered to be amateurs.
Clubs, who are unwilling to adhere to the minimum wage, should declare their players in the LFA Connect System as amateur and said players shall be declared free at the end of the season. The FA told the clubs in a communication and a release issued on September 22, 2020.
Following the news of the minimum wage, the parent body of all players in Liberia, Liberia Football Players Association, appreciated the FA for their decision which they said is one of their first recommendations and proposals to the FA.
“LIFOPA applauds the leadership of the LFA, headed by football developer Mr. Mustapha I. Raji, for their consideration to revisit the minimum wage of footballers which was set at 2500LD some Fifteen years ago. We acknowledge that this is not just a motivation to footballers but an assurance that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We want to stress that this is not what we are opting for, but it is a great step towards achieving our objectives,”.
“We want to caution all players to ensure that their teams adhere to this policy as an attempt to compromise this policy will be detrimental to all current footballers and the generation of footballers to come,” a statement from LIFOPA said.
The Players Association at the same time appreciated teams that have been at or above the sanctioned minimum wages while also applaud those teams that are willing and prepared to adhere to the change.
According to LIFOPA, the pronouncement by the FA is a great step towards the improvement of the livelihoods of footballers in Liberia.
Meanwhile, the players have congratulated Freeport FC for securing a sponsorship deal with the Sassouk Supermarket and encouraged other teams and entities to emulate the farsightedness of Freeport FC.