FIFPro is advising players against joining two of the 12 clubs in Malta’s Premier League after evidence emerged of poor treatment of foreign footballers, including youngsters from Nigeria and the United States.
Aiming to launch their career in European football, dozens of young players from outside the European Union have been lured to sign contracts with clubs in Malta because it is relatively easy to secure a working visa.
However, most players on the Mediterranean island earn less than $2,000 per month and, according to the recently-released 2016 FIFPro Global Employment Report, 79% are not paid on time. Almost half (49%) are not satisfied with medical support.
FIFPro has also spoken to several Nigerians who said they were among 15 foreign players squeezed into a four-bedroom house after signing to play for Mosta. Some complained of the cold because the home had no central heating.
Malta Premier League rules only allow clubs to field seven foreign players per match, meaning that they were easily expendable.
“They can bring African players at any time, they just get rid of the old ones,” one of the Nigerians said. “Nigerian players are better off in Africa.”