On Tuesday 24 May, the Government of Colombia, led by the President of the Republic, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, started the process of unveiling and socializing the new Law 1445 of 2011, dated May 12, which amends the Sports Law (Law 181 of 1995).
The ceremony was presided over by President Santos himself in the presence of the members of the Congress of the Republic who had spoken in the formalization of the Law - Interior and Justice Minister Germán Vargas Lleras, the Director of Coldeportes, and the Presidents of the Federation, the Professional League and the Association of Colombian Footballers, Acolfutpro.
The representatives of Division America on the FIFPro Executive Committee, Rinaldo Martorelli and Fernando Revilla, witnessed the event as special guests.
Present at the meeting were the Presidents of the professional Clubs, playing members of Acolfutpro, and the most notable former professional players in the history of Colombian football, who are also members of the Colombian footballers' union, prominent among them Carlos Valderrama, Rene Higuita, Faustino Asprilla, Mauricio Serna and Willinton Ortiz.
The new Law includes requirements to ensure that professional clubs are able to hold their own in competition, and especially that they retain sufficient liquid capital to guarantee their sustainability and ability to meet payments of wages and Social Security contributions for their footballers, with drastic penalties for clubs that take more than 60 days to pay their labour obligations.
Now that the regulations have been promulgated, the true process of the professionalization of football in Colombia can begin, heeding the warning given by the President, that 'the Government is not going to allow footballers to turn up at their training fields and play matches hungry'. He added that 'the Government is fully prepared to support the clubs so that they can operate, but we are not going to allow clubs to continue their abuses'.
Acolfutpro, as the representative of Colombia's footballers, supports all of the initiatives of the present Government, which are aimed at cleaning up clubs and protecting the footballers' rights.
- Published: 01 June 2011