MILAN - The risk of a football strike
increased in Italy on Wednesday as the League refused to sign an
agreement over players' rights, three days before the scheduled
start of the Serie A season.
The Italian Players Union (AIC) has already emphasised it
will not play at the weekend if the League does not sign the
agreement, which has been the subject of negotiations for the
"The League's general assembly has rejected the agreement
with the players by a large majority, 18 votes against two,"
League president Maurizio Beretta told reporters.
A meeting of the Italian FA, due to be held on Wednesday
evening, was postponed until the following morning.
AIC president Damiano Tommasi reiterated his members would
only play if the agreement was signed.
"At the moment, we aren't in a position to play," he told
reporters. "The League's demands are spurious and I don't see
that this is going to change."
Strike action was twice narrowly averted last season as AIC
and the League tried to thrash out a new collective agreement to
replace the previous one which expired at the end of the 2009/10
The main sticking point concerns players who are no longer
wanted by their clubs.
The AIC wants guarantees that these players will not be
forced to train separately from their squads or be forced to
move. The clubs want their coaching staff to be allowed to make
The League said in a statement it also wanted to insert a
clause confirming the players would pay a new solidarity tax
announced by the Italian government this month on all workers
earning over 90,000 euros a month.
"The text cannot be signed without inserting a clause
placing the payment of the extraordinary contribution
exclusively with the players and another allowing the autonomy
of the coaching staff in the organisation of the squad," it
The AIC says it has been waiting since last year for the
League to sign the agreement.
The start of the Spanish league season has been postponed
this month because of a dispute between the players' union there
and the football league.
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