Colombia’s ministry of labor has launched an investigation into the union rights of soccer players after the scandalous remarks made by the president of the Itagui soccer club.
In an assembly of the Major Division of Colombian Soccer, Itagui president Fernando Salazar claimed that “the players of today are prostitutes dressed up in soccer jerseys.”
The vice-minister of labor, David Luna Sanchez, reminded Salazar that the Colombian constitution protects the dignity of the worker and that labor laws guarantee those rights.
“The soccer player is the proprietor of his work,” said Luna, “by which reasoning he alone has the opportunity to comprehend the best conditions for his professional performance.” Therefore, Luna said, “the government is obligated to check with the Prosecutor General to ascertain whether the penal code applies to this case.”
Salazar’s incendiary comments were delivered in complaint over the changes he percieved in Colombian soccer culture and the nature of relationships between players and their employers.
“The players tease with management and throw to the trash the heritage of our sons…selling themselves to the highest bidder,” he said in the same speech.
Salazar on Wednesday backed down slightly, saying the word “prostitutes” was taken out of context.