Drogba during his Chelsea days
Drogba– Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba has spoken out in the defence of professional footballers in Africa, demanding change to improve working conditions.
Drogba, 38, is the honorary president of the African division of FIFPro, the global professional footballers’ union. With the online publication of a map detailing the working conditions of footballers around the world, the former Chelsea striker said Africa’s players were being let down.
“Professional footballers in many African countries do not have the clearly defined status they deserve — or any status at all,” Drogba, who left Montreal Impact recently following their exit from the MLS playoffs, said.
“Many African footballers have no holiday entitlement and are left without the medical care they need to do their jobs. This has to change. Africa’s professional footballers must be treated as proper employees.”
The map claims 85 perceNT of professional footballers in the Democratic Republic of Congo do not have a written contract with 57 percent of them not having a day off in the week. Their salaries are between $300-600 a month.
According to FIFPro, the central African nation is also the most dangerous in which to play with 35 percent of players threatened by fans and one in four the victim of violence.
The union also claims that players in Gabon, the host nation for the next African Nations Cup, which starts on Jan. 14 next year, are the most likely to suffer delays in the payment of their salaries.
“Half of the players [in Africa] questioned said they’d had problems getting paid on time in the last two years,” Drogba said. “That’s unacceptable.”