The Spanish Footballers’ Association or AFE (Asociación de Futbolistas Españoles) is an entity that is at the service of the collective of footballers of all Spanish clubs, which promotes their union and watches over the development of the sporting career of each one of them, guaranteeing and defending the social, economic and labour rights, both present and future, in order to achieve this. In addition, this association also transmits sporting values to its members and collaborates in their training, as well as in their subsequent incorporation into the labour market.
The values of the Spanish Footballers’ Association are: commitment, transparency, proximity, firmness and union. Among the many aims of this association is also to protect and represent the collective interests, as well as the image of its members before entities, individuals and private or public bodies, regardless of whether they are Spanish or foreign.
The Spanish Footballers’ Association also promotes and favours collaboration and harmony among its members, but also between them and the other football and sporting bodies. The Spanish Footballers’ Association or AFE was founded in Madrid on 23 January 1978 with the aim of defending football players and registering all their rights as workers.
After its constitution, and after several strikes, Royal Decree 1006/1985 of 26 June 1985 was established, which regulates the special employment relationship of professional sportsmen and sportswomen. In addition, this also served to lay the foundations for the subsequent negotiations with the various collective bargaining agreements.
The first two vice-presidents and the first general secretary of the Spanish Footballers’ Association were respectively Santiago Bartolomé Rial, Ángel María Villar Llona and Alfonso Abete Otazu. Currently, David Aganzo is the president of the Spanish Footballers’ Association, who has held the position since November 2017. He is a former Spanish footballer, specifically from Madrid, who played as a striker, but after suffering an injury that prevented him from playing the second half of the season with the Second Division club that had signed him, Club Deportivo Lugo, he had to hang up his football boots.
This man, in addition to being a member and technical secretary of the Spanish Footballers’ Association, also holds the title of sports director and sports manager of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, or RFEF, the governing body of football in this country.
Misalignment is when a player enters the match in an impermissible situation. The most common causes of improper line-up are for the following reasons:
Not having the regulatory permissions to be able to participate.
Exceeding the established limit of foreign players.
Participating on the field despite being suspended.
Having fewer professional players than those decreed by regulations.
In this sense, article 76 of the Spanish football regulations (RFEF) establishes that, if the requirements for participation are not met, the match will be forfeited. This means that the opposing team would be the winner by three goals to nil, or, if there is one, by a higher score. If it is a knockout, the balance would be in favour of the opponent.
But it doesn’t end there, as misalignment can be costly for the club, with fines of 6,001 to 9,000 euros for professional teams and 3,001 to 6,000 euros for teams in the second division.
Similarly, third division teams could face fines of up to 3,000 euros and for the National Amateur and Women’s Football League up to 1,000 euros. To this is added the suspension of the persons involved in the misalignment for periods of up to six months.
What are the most common forms of misalignment?
The most common national forms of this offence are as follows:
- The player is sanctioned by a club, as happened with the Russian Cheryshev at Real Madrid, for his previous sanction of accumulation of yellow cards at Villareal.
- In this case for having a greater number of foreigners in the squad. As happened to Valencia in the 2001 Cup match, four players were suspended, including Dennis Serban.
- Having fewer professional footballers than the rules require. The regulations require at least seven professional players on the same pitch. Recently, in 2020, Granada finished their match against Real Sociedad 2-0. They lost with improper alignment because they had only four professional players on the pitch.
- The number of players was changed because of the coronavirus, with only five first division players allowed to participate.