It’s not okay to be seriously ill when contracted out to a soccer club.
At least, that’s what Paraguayan club Olimpia seemed to believe when it suspended Uruguayan Sebastian Ariosa’s contract when the player chose to undergo chemotherapy for a chest tumour.
The defender had a five-year contract with the club beginning 2011.
The Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) ruled in Ariosa’s favour awarding him 7% of his contract value ($60,000) as “moral damages” and $90,000 as sporting compensation for his team’s lack of “sportive ethics”.
This is as against an earlier FIFA edict that the Uruguayan’s contract should be paid out in full.
Both sides appealed to CAS; the Uruguayan sought other compensation.
Club officials had demanded his return to training from Uruguay while he was undergoing treatment there.
Alexandra Gomez, a lawyer for the global players’ union FIFPro, said:
“We see this as a great result. CAS stated that the club was not responsible for the condition of the player, but it was responsible for its own response to this situation.”
The court has also ordered the club to pay Ariosa his overdue salary plus interest as well as a 13th month accrued over the term of his agreement.
FIFPro , in its statement , said:
“FIFPro is pleased to announce a major legal victory has been awarded to Uruguayan footballer, Sebastian Ariosa.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found Paraguayan outfit, Club Olimpia, breached almost all of its obligations toward Ariosa, including a blatant attempt to exploit the player’s incapacity to work after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Such is the significance of this case, CAS awarded ‘moral damage’ to Ariosa, which is extremely rare. It stems from Club Olimpia’s appalling behaviour to suspend the player at a time when he was suffering greatly, fighting for his life and dealing with the effects of chemotherapy.”
“Olimpia was in breach on all counts. Its response was to stop paying and suspend Ariosa, while demanding that the player return to training in the midst of his treatment. This behaviour corresponds with the two requirements which the tribunal considered in order to grant moral damage; exceptionality and severity.”
Ariosa now turns out for national side, Defensor Sporting.