October 17, 2019 / 12:22 PM / 2 months ago

Soccer-Colombian footballers to go on strike

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Colombian footballers will go on strike in a long-standing dispute over working conditions, the players’ union said.

A dispute involving the players, the league and the Colombian Football Federation has simmered for years over issues including a reduction in the number of matches, a collective health plan and a rewriting of the game’s disciplinary code.

The situation has deteriorated in recent weeks with players complaining they are not being heard.

Top teams protested at the start of last weekend’s games by sitting on the ground or slowly kicking the ball between them for the first minutes after kickoff.

“The players have signed on for the stoppage,” said Carlos Gonzalez, executive director of the footballers’ union Acolfutpro.

“When your employers don’t listen to your demands the law allows you to use this mechanism to pressure them into listening.”

Reuters has contacted the Colombian Football Federation and league for comment.

Union officials representing players from both men’s and women’s teams said they had not yet decided when the strike would take place. Colombia’s Labour Minister offered to arbitrate a resolution.

FIFPRO, the global footballers’ union, last week formally appealed to Colombian football authorities to reopen dialogue. (Reporting by Andrew Downie Editing by Toby Davis)

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