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Striker Szalai Frozen Out of Mainz Due to Dispute Over Covid Wage Cuts

Fanni Kaszás 2020.09.29.

Ádám Szalai, forward on the Hungarian national football team, was recently told by his club, the German FSV Mainz that they do not expect his participation at trainings and matches in the future and would do better to find a new club. The dispute between the player and the association will be heard in the Mainz labor court next Thursday.

FVS Mainz told the 32-year-old Hungarian striker earlier this month that he should look for a new club for himself. The Mainz footballers then went on strike, refusing to take part in Wednesday afternoon’s training because they wanted to show solidarity with Szalai. Mainz sports director Rouven Schröder said last week that the reason for releasing the forward was solely for sports professional reasons, but the German daily Bild reported otherwise.

According to the newspaper, Ádám Szalai has to look for a new team due to a distorted financial dispute, as he has spoken out against the management as a member of the team elected by his teammates, because the club had not compensated for reduced wages during the coronavirus, although they did promise it to the players.

Markus Schütz, the footballer’s lawyer, told Bild that an application had been submitted to FVS Mainz on Sunday so that Szalai could take part in the training of the first team. Last week, Oliver Fischer, the striker’s agent, said the player is not looking for another club for himself and definitely wants to stay in Mainz.

Since then, the team has been defeated by the guest VfB Stuttgart 4-1 over the weekend in the Bundesliga, and head coach Achim Beierlorzer was fired on Monday. Beierlorzer’s place was taken temporarily by his deputy, Jan-Moritz Lichte. Bild also asked if Szalai’s situation, who was excluded from the first team at the beginning of last week, could change after the coach was fired.

However, the newspaper answered its own question, as according to their information the Hungarian national team striker still cannot train with Mainz’s first team, and therefore the footballer’s lawyer, Markus Schütz, filed a lawsuit against the club in the Mainz labor court. The trial was confirmed by the court on Tuesday. The first day of the trial was scheduled for Thursday, October 8, 11 a.m., when Ádám Szalai and representatives of the FSV Mainz football club will appear at court to settle the dispute between the player and the association.

Hungarian national team player Ádám Szalai returned to Mainz last August, where he had played between 2010 and 2013.

featured photo: Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI