The Football Players Association of India (FPAI) clearly stated that any club imposing ‘Force Majeure’ clause in players' contracts without their consent will be deemed as a case of ‘non-payment of salaries.’ East Bengal terminated contracts of their players earlier this week for the same reason.
The ‘Force Majeure’ is a contractual clause that allows a party to terminate or stall the performance of its obligations when an unprecedented event or circumstance arises beyond their control. Quess East Bengal terminated the contracts of all their players owing to the same criteria due to the current Covid-19 pandemic situation, which according to the Football Players Association of India (FPAI) will be deemed as a case of ‘non-payment.’
“For us, this is a simple case of non-payment to Indian players. I-League clubs do not generate money through gate revenues or either television, so there’s absolutely no reason for them to activate the clause,” stated an FPAI official to Scroll.in
Four Indian players, mostly from Quess East Bengal and some foreigners from Chennai City FC approached the FPAI to seek help regarding the situation on hands. FPAI stated that the issues relating to the foreigners would be handled by the FIFPro, the international body which deals with matters relating to professional footballers.
“With regards to the foreigners, we will be forwarding the case to the Fifa’s Dispute Resolution Chambers. FIFPro has told us that as per their dialogues with Asian Football Confederation and Fifa, the Force Majeure clause has to be a mutual termination. They have made it clear that player contracts cannot be ended unilaterally citing the pandemic. Unless it’s not a mutual termination, every case is going to be taken as a non-payment issue,” added the official.