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Finnish football brings in minimum wages for non-EEA imports

Finland is to bring in a minimum wage for footballers who come to the country from outside the European Economic Area. The players’ union and the FA expect the move will prevent clubs hiring foreigners on very low pay.

Jalkapallo tekonurmella
Image: Yle

From next year footballers from outside the European Economic Area will have to secure a minimum salary of 1,165 euros before they can play in Finland.

That figure is the threshold for employee contributions to unemployment insurance. It is often used as a proxy for a minimum wage in Finland, where sector-based wage agreements dominate and there is no universal minimum salary.

The move is expected to combat cheap labour from outside Europe, and help provide young Finnish players with more opportunities.

In addition, the FA has announced an increase in the number of homegrown players (those who spent their formative years in Finland) required in Kakkonen, or third tier, line-ups.

From 2016 all Kakkonen teams will need to contain at least five players who were affiliated with a Finnish club for at least three seasons before turning 21.

Finland has seen problems with match-fixing as poorly paid players have taken cash from fixers to top up their meagre earnings, most notably in 2011 when nine Rovaniemen Palloseura players were convicted of taking bribes.

The new rules will not however cover players from within the EEA, and therefore Finns and many Europeans will be able to play professional football while earning substantially less than the minimum.

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