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Cancer survivor Sebastian Ariosa wins case after Olimpia suspended contract

Sebastian Ariosa (R) in action for Olimpia during the 2013 Copa Libertadores.

Paraguayan club Olimpia have been ordered to pay compensation to Uruguayan defender Sebastian Ariosa after his contract was suspended while he was treated for cancer, according to global players' union FIFPro

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in favour of Ariosa against Olimpia, who suspended his contract in December 2013 after he was diagnosed with a chest tumour earlier that May.

"We see this as a great result," said FIFPro lawyer Alexandra Gomez. "CAS stated that the club was not responsible for the condition of the player, but it was responsible for its own response to this situation."

The court said Olimpia caused Ariosa "angst and insecurity" when they suspended his five-year contract in 2013 while he underwent chemotherapy in Uruguay, and awarded Ariosa "moral damages" of around $60,000.

CAS awarded Ariosa seven percent of the total contract value as "moral damages" for the club acting in bad faith.

Ariosa, whose salary went unpaid for months even before his diagnosis, was also awarded sporting compensation of around $90,000 by CAS.

Both Ariosa and Olimpia appealed to the sports court after FIFA ruled last year that his contract should be paid in full.

The FIFA disputes panel said Ariosa had been right to terminate his contract after the club stopped his pay.

Still, the FIFA panel had denied the player's request for compensation and did not recognise his rights in Paraguayan national law to a 13th month salary for every year accrued over the term of his contract.

Days later, club officials ordered the player to return to training even while he was in Uruguay being treated.

Gomez added: "Another interesting aspect is that even though FIFA RSTP (Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players) does not regulate this matter of the 13th month, CAS applied national mandatory labour law.

"This reinforces the fact that a professional footballer is a worker and therefore is entitled to all the worker's rights."

FIFPro said 30-year-old Ariosa has recovered and is playing for Defensor Sporting in Uruguay.


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