The Association of Spanish Soccer Players has issued a statement against the treatment of FC Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele by the club management. They warned against the application of any pressure on the player from the club or manager.
FC Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele has been lately under some scrutiny from the fans, the manager and the club administration due to his lack of commitments towards extending his contract with the Catalan club.
Ousmane Dembele‘s contract runs out in the summer this year and FC Barcelona wants to extend his contract. However, the contract negotiations have not gone to plan for FC Barcelona as they failed to reach terms with the French superstar.
In their statement, the AFE said:
“In relation to the situation experienced by the soccer player of the Barcelona Football Club Ousmane Dembélé, the Association of Spanish Soccer Players wants to express the following:
On the other hand, the club is obliged to pay the agreed wages and allow the provision of services under the same conditions as the rest of its teammates, without there being any type of discrimination or pressure for the athlete to waive their labour rights.
We understand that the renewal of a contract requires the agreement of the will of both parties. Said agreement of wills must be issued freely without there being external conditions that limit or restrict the freedom of contracting of the professional soccer player.” (translated from Spanish)
Legal action against FC Barcelona
The statement further remarked that the association will take legal action if there is any sort of external pressure by the club on the player to bend his will.
“It is true that a professional footballer does not have the right to be lined up or even called up for every match, but rather to be treated under the same conditions as his teammates and to be able to play those matches. But if this circumstance could be understood as pressure to bend their will, and public statements are also made acknowledging this type of pressure, we would be facing an illegal action by the company.” (translated from Spanish)
This statement comes in after the director of football at FC Barcelona, Mateu Alemany publicly stated that the player needs to leave before the end of the transfer window, i.e by January 31 and that his agents have been informed about it. Dembele has been not included in Barcelona’s squad for Copa del Rey tie against Athletic Bilbao.