Soccer-Argentine players' union repeats strike call

Rex Gowar

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Argentina's players union said on Monday it will go ahead with a plan to strike next weekend when the first division is set to resume despite the country's FA reaching an agreement with the government on a cash injection to clear unpaid salaries.

The championship was due to restart on Feb. 5 but has been on hold because of financial problems.

The union's announcement followed publication of the upcoming fixtures on the Argentine FA website (

“The Argentine Footballers’ Union (FAA) maintains its stance of not starting the second half of the tournaments in the professional categories organised by the AFA,” the union said in a statement on its website (

The AFA was set to resume competitive football after reaching an agreement last Friday on an Argentine government injection of $25 million to be shared among the clubs.

However, the FAA, which called the strike on the same day, said it did not believe clubs would be able to pay the salaries owed to their players in time for the fixtures to go ahead.

The AFA is currently closed for a four-day holiday and no-one was available to comment on the union's announcement.

Many clubs fell behind by up to four months in their payments to players and coaching and administrative staff, while the AFA had been negotiating with the Argentine government since the end of last year to receive funds.

Friday’s vote by the AFA to accept the payment also allows the government to rescind its contract to broadcast matches under the Futbol para Todos (football for all) programme the previous administration had signed with the AFA in 2009.

The AFA is studying bids from private companies to broadcast Argentine top flight matches from next season.

There has been no top-flight football in Argentina since December when the championship went into recess with 14 of the 30 rounds of matches played.

Boca Juniors are top of the standings with 31 points, three more than San Lorenzo and Newell’s Old Boys. (Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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