Aileen Whelan, a striker for Brighton & Hove Albion, and a therapist by training has been using her social media accounts to emphasise the importance of mental health of players in lockdown (Pic: FA.com).
With football under an indefinite hiatus, many games cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future, players have been left fending for themselves away from their homeland. A huge number of them have no family support and play on one year contracts. Unsurprisingly they are prone to mental health problems, and the global union FIFPRO has pointed out that uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic will make that worse.
"Mental health is a huge consideration," FIFPRO general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said in an interview with Reuters Television. “We have, from studies over the years, seen there are elevated risks for anxiety and different psychological problems for players compared to the general population because it's a tense and precarious employment for most of them and (this) makes it worse,” he added.
The additional pressure on players to accept wage cuts in order to help their clubs has proven to be more problematic. FIFPRO has pointed that it is not an option for many outside the biggest leagues who often struggle to make ends meet.
Barcelona in Crisis
The crisis in FC Barcelona intensified after six board members, including two vice presidents, resigned on April 9 over issues on ways the club has been managed. They called for presidential elections at the earliest opportunity.
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Vice presidents Emili Rousaund and Enrique Tombas, along with directors Silvio Elias, Josep Pont, Jordi Calsamiglia and Maria Texidor were the six who resigned from the board. The news came to light after the newspaper La Vanguardia published a letter signed by the six members. The strongly worded letter was a group call to review the leadership of Josep Maria Bartomeu, the current president.
Alliance been strained since claims surfaced of the club paying a company called I3 Ventures to set up online accounts that wrote stories defending the president and damaging the image of some players and former players.The six directors asked that the Price Waterhouse investigation of the incident, dubbed ‘Barcagate’ be concluded with appropriate action taken and money returned.
Premier League Players’ Contract Validity
According to leading sports lawyer Nick De Marco, out of contract football players in England can ignore FIFA’s proposal of extending existing deals and can walk away from clubs at the end of June even if the season does not resume.
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A few days ago, FIFA proposed a plan to extend existing contracts and push back the transfer window. Nick De Marco, who has been representing sports governing bodies, players, agents and clubs since 2002 told the Sky Sports News “Legally, they cannot be forced to continue to play for the club. Nobody can force them to do so; FIFA, the FA, the club or anybody else. If they want to walk away, that's a matter for them but it will really be a matter of whether, financially, that makes sense for them.”
French Clubs Battle for TV Revenue
Nasser al-Khelaifi, the president of Ligue 1 table toppers Paris Saint-Germain has been accused of being involved in a conflict of interest in a disagreement over television payments to French football clubs that are faced with a financial crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Al-Khelaifi, 46, is the public face of the Qatari ownership of PSG and is the head of the BeIN Media Group -- chief broadcasters of France's Ligue 1 -- which has held back the current payments which are due to the clubs because of the suspension of the season. Payments from television made up to 36 percent of Ligue 1’s total revenue last season, and was by far their biggest income source.
However, other clubs’ management dismissed fears of conflict of interest that are held against Al-Khelaifi.
Kolkata Derby Tickets Refund
The tickets for the Kolkata Derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan -- one of the first game to be called off amid the spread of the pandemic -- are now being refunded. The match was originally scheduled to take place on March 15 at the Salt Lake stadium, a day after the Indian Super League final.
Despite four rounds of matches yet to be played, Mohun Bagan has already been crowned champions hauling an unassailable lead at the top. Since the fixtures have been called off, very little has been said regarding the league’s status, and its future.
Resumption is a bleak possibility, and with Mohun Bagan shipping off to the ISL next season, there remains very faint hope that the fixture could be played out in the coming months. A decision on the fate of the I-League will come only after the 21-day national lockdown gets over on April 14, an AIFF official said.
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