Women’s volleyball, controversy over ‘restriction on participation in parent team games’ in trade clause

Gwangju Pepper Stadium on the 23rd, the day after Lunar New Year. Pepper Savings Bank, the lowest ranked professional volleyball women’s division, gave home fans precious holiday gifts. In the professional volleyball Dodram 2022-2023 V-League match, GS Caltex won a thrilling victory with a set score of 3-1 (26-24 24-26 25-23 25-23). It was the first home game win this season, and it was a meaningful victory that broke the record for the most consecutive losses (13 losses) in the professional volleyball women’s division. It has been 346 days since the Heungkuk Life Insurance match on February 11 last year that Pepper Savings Bank won in front of the home crowd. In addition, they recently broke a four-game losing streak and won their second win (21 losses) this season. Players and fans alike couldn’t help but rejoice. In particular, the victory was all the more valuable as it was achieved without the national team’s starting pitcher Oh Ji-young (35). Broadcast cameras also caught Oh Ji-young cheering for her juniors more fervently than anyone else outside the court and earnestly wishing for victory.

Many volleyball fans who watched this game would have thought Oh Ji-young was not in good condition due to injury, etc., so he did not play and only cheered, but the reality is different. When GS Caltex, his former team, traded Oh Ji-young to Pepper Savings Bank, he added a clause saying, ‘You cannot play against the previous team this season’, and Pepper Savings Bank agreed.  온라인카지노

Regarding the reason for not using Oh Ji-young in the home game against GS Caltex the previous day, Pepper Savings Bank said, “It is because the two clubs agreed on the clause during the trade process.” It was on the 26th of last month that the two clubs carried out a trade.

At the time, Pepper Savings Bank, which had lost 16 consecutive losses after the opening, recruited Oh Ji-young, who played for GS Caltex, instead of handing over the first round nomination for the 2024-2025 season. GS Caltex requested the addition of a non-participation clause stating that ‘Oh Ji-young will not be put into the GS Caltex game for the rest of this season’, saying that the balance was not balanced during the discussion, and Pepper Savings Bank responded. In the end, Oh Ji-young could not play against GS Caltex the previous day according to the agreement between the two teams. He can’t even play against GS Caltex on the remaining two occasions this season.

As detailed provisions related to the trade between the two teams, which were not disclosed, became known on the day of the first confrontation, controversy arose, and fans are voicing criticism. On the free bulletin board of the Korea Volleyball Federation (KOVO) website and various communities, there were a series of articles criticizing the KOVO office and the two clubs. One fan pointed out on the KOVO bulletin board, “It is against fairness to limit a player’s participation with a trade clause.”

Both clubs say there is no problem. An official from Pepper Savings Bank said, “It is not against the rules of the Korea Volleyball Federation,” and a GS Caltex official also explained, “We requested the conditions in terms of balance in the trade.”

However, weight is placed on the point that the ‘provision not to participate in certain players’ is not an issue to be taken lightly, as it can turbid the league ecosystem. It would be a problem even if Oh Ji-young traded without knowing this, but even if he did, controversy remains. From the player’s point of view, the deprivation of the opportunity to participate in three games meant that basic rights as a player were violated, such as acquiring free agent qualifications and competing for personal record titles. In addition, if the clause prohibiting certain players from participating in certain games is recognized as a normal contract clause, it may be abused in various forms. It is not polite to the fans who watch their favorite players play and expect each team to show their best performance, and it goes against the spirit of sports. 

It is in a similar context that the International Football Federation (FIFA) and the European Football Federation (UEFA) judge that contract provisions that exclude rental players from matches with the original club are illegal and severely sanction them. To maintain the purity of sports. The Korea Professional Football Federation also deleted the rule that Sangmu players cannot play against the original club, saying that it follows the judgment of FIFA in 2020.

One volleyball player said, “In the meantime, trades with similar provisions have occurred implicitly in the professional volleyball world,” and said, “It is necessary to revise the relevant regulations for the development of professional volleyball and the protection of players’ rights and interests.” 

KOVO said, “We will consult with the clubs to find ways to improve so that the players’ basic rights are not violated.”

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