Soccer-Colombian footballers plan strike action for early November
Colombian footballers will begin strike action on Nov. 3 after unsuccessful attempts at mediation with the national league and football federation, the players' union said on Tuesday. The country's Labour Ministry offered to arbitrate talks between the three parties on Monday but representatives from the league and the Colombian Football Federation did not turn up.
Tuesday's decision to strike for the first time in the league's history was a "consequence" of that lack of commitment to reaching a solution, the footballers' union Acolfutpro said in a statement. "The players will continue to turn up for training at the times established by their respective clubs," the union added.
The 19th round of first and second division games will take place as scheduled this week but the matches after that will not take place unless negotiations begin. The dispute has simmered for years over a number of issues that include a reduction in the number of games, a collective health plan and a rewriting of the game's disciplinary code.
The situation has worsened in recent weeks with players complaining they are not being heard. Some of the 36 teams that have vowed to strike have adopted peaceful protests at recent games by sitting on the ground or slowly kicking the ball between themselves for the first minutes after kick off.
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