ROME - This weekend's Serie A players
strike could be cancelled after positive talks between the
union, the league and the Italian football federation on Tuesday.
"Tonight we can't officially announce that the strike has
been called off even if we have made big steps forward,"
players' union president Sergio Campana told reporters after a
seven-hour meeting at the federation headquarters.
"There is optimism. Tomorrow we will hear from the players
and I believe there is a good chance we will reach agreement."
The union is in dispute with Serie A over a new collective
contract which guarantees basic players' rights and was
particularly against club plans to force unwanted footballers to
train away from the first team or accept a transfer.
A first strike was called in September but was postponed to
allow more talks but as negotiations dragged on without a deal,
the union threatened new industrial action for this weekend's
Fans, media and some players have criticised the union for
daring to tell its millionaire members to strike when Italy is
experiencing general economic hardship.
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