FIFPro have announced they are helping Napoli players avoid “further abuse and intimidation by the Serie A club” after their heavy fines, which were imposed ‘without valid grounds.’
The players were docked part of their October salary, up to 50 per cent in some cases, for refusing to go back into a training retreat.
A meeting with President Aurelio De Laurentiis had seemed to clear the air, but this morning FIFPro – the union of world football players – announced it was helping them fight the fines with the Italian Players’ Association.
“Napoli’s intention to withhold player salaries is without valid grounds and is being contested collectively,” read a statement.
“FIFPro believes that the ad-hoc decision of Napoli forbidding players to go home and re-join their families, following the match against RB Salzburg, was unjustified.
“Like every other employee, professional football players have the right to ensure that their private life is respected, especially considering the already congested fixture list which sees many players away from home for prolonged periods.
“The grounds on which Napoli seeks the application of fines, for the players’ refusal to follow the unreasonable instructions of Napoli, contradict provisions in Italy’s collective bargaining agreement.
“The players of Napoli cannot be subjected to arbitrary decisions of a disenchanted club when the result of a match is unsatisfactory.
“We echo the sentiments of FIFPro member, Associazione Italiana Calciatori (AIC), in that Carlo Ancelotti and his technical staff are ultimately responsible for managing the playing group however they deem fit.
“Technical matters are not the responsibility of club directors and we support Ancelotti and the players of Napoli for their united stand in clearly difficult times.
“FIFPro is standing by ready to assist, in close co-operation with AIC, to ensure the players are not subjected to further abuse and intimidation.”