Karim Benzema, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, has been unveiled in Saudi Arabia. However, there have been several contract breaches in the country in the past 12 months, leading to over 50 complaints. This has raised concerns that more high-profile players might follow in Benzema and Ronaldo’s footsteps and join the Saudi Pro League.
One such case involves former Premier League striker Lewis Grabban. Grabban has accused Al Ahli, his former club, of failing to pay him a total of $400,000 (R7.4 million) in wages and a signing-on fee. Although Grabban did not make any appearances under coach Pitso Mosimane during the past season, he has managed to retrieve some of the money he was owed. As a result of this case, Al Ahli is reportedly facing a ban on registering new players for the next two transfer windows.
FIFPro, the international players’ union, has warned that there is little protection in place for footballers in Saudi Arabia since there is no players’ union in the country. This is in stark contrast to the situation in England where players have a union to advocate for their rights and address such issues. Pitso Mosimane himself has recently revealed that he has not been paid regularly since joining the club in 2022.