Football

Sion sackings sent wrong signal: Swiss players' union

FC Sion's decision to sack nine professional footballers was outrageous and sent the wrong message at a time when solidarity is needed amid the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the Swiss players' union (SAFP) said yesterday.

Like the rest of the world, the Swiss league has been brought to a standstill, depriving clubs of much of their income for possibly several months.

Sion dismissed nine players, telling Reuters in an e-mail on Wednesday that they had refused to be put on part-time work in accordance with government directives.

"It's not acceptable to behave like that," said SAFP president Lucien Valloni.

"If a crisis appears, you have to look after your employees and not put a gun to their head and tell them they have 24 hours to decide on a (wage) reduction or not, and then if they say no - which is their right - they are sacked.

"That is really outrageous."

Valloni said it was premature to consider salary cuts and that clubs should look for more wide-ranging solutions.

"I think it was a bad sign, a wrong sign, and not a sign for solidarity," he said.

"Even before Sion did that, we were looking to find a solution for everybody and players were ready to help the clubs, but salary reduction is premature."

Club president Christian Constantin said after the sackings that "there's no point in me keeping players who don't want to make an effort when everyone else has to make an effort".

- REUTERS

Football