BOGOTA - Players of Colombia's Once Caldas
ended a strike and returned to training on Wednesday after
reaching agreement with the club over stalled salary payments.
Club vice-president Jose Manuel Lopez and team captain
Alexis Henriquez issued a joint statement announcing the
agreement ending two days of strike action by the players.
"The club will gradually pay with gate takings the salaries
of the players who are lifting the strike and have committed
themselves to improving their performances in search of better
sporting and economic results," they said.
"The club's directors also committed themselves to carry on
seeking resources from sponsorship, takings and advertising to
get up to date with all payments."
The board of Manizales-based Caldas, crowned South American
champions in 2004, had sought Labour ministry support on Tuesday
to end the strike by 19 of their players.
Henriquez, quoted by the daily El Espectador on Tuesday,
said: "We decided to strike because... most of us can't pay for
food, our utilities have been cut and our kids are being sent
home from school."
A recent strike threat by players of America, one of
Colombia's biggest and most successful clubs, met with partial
success when part of their back salaries was paid.
However, their coach Jorge Bermudez, a former Boca Juniors
and Colombia defender, was sacked for backing the players.
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