Indian players get changes to standard contract

All India Football Federation has assured players it will meet their demands to change its standard contract. "The Federation has agreed to make changes in the contract to ensure equal bargaining power for both clubs and players," footballer Bhaichung Bhutia, president of the Football Players' Association of India, told media. The announcement came after an FPAI delegation, including Bhutia, FPAI CEO Sumit Mukherjee and current player Deepak Mondal, met with AIFF General Secretary Alberto Colaco and conveyed their apprehensions about the contract, particularly clauses that appear to reflect European, not Indian conditions.

One of the other demands of the FPAI was a corpus for retired footballers. The players' body wants the AIFF to have a benevolent fund with an initial amount of Rs 10 million with a member of FPAI on the trustee board. "The Federation has agreed to consider this proposal for the benefit of all players of yesteryears," Bhutia said. The other points of contention were individual contracts signed by players, which may directly compete with club sponsors and regulations to deal with footballers' injuries. The FPAI said the players should have the right to sign individual endorsements and should not be forced to endorse products of the club's sponsors. This provision deals mainly with the boots and gloves as they are considered to be performance-enhancing items of the kit.

On the injury front, FPAI wants the clubs to make medical insurance of players compulsory. According to the present contract, the club can deduct a player's salary if he is injured for more than six weeks. The FPAI requested medical insurance to ensure that no player will suffer a loss.