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Colombian footballers will go on strike

La Colombian Association of Soccer Players Professionals (acolfutpro) announced this Tuesday a "cessation of activities" as of the first week of November after an attempt to start a negotiation with sports entities to improve working conditions failed.

"The professional soccer players associated with Acolfutpro and linked to the 36 clubs decided to declare the cessation of activities as of the date 20 of the league, between November 2 and 3, the third date of home runs of the Tournament (second division) on November 3”, detailed the Association in a statement.

The information added that the soccer players "will not appear to play the matches scheduled by the Dimayor (Colombian Soccer Major Division) from that date and until the negotiation of their requests with Acolfutpro begins."

However, the entity detailed that the players will continue to attend training sessions at the times established by the coaching staff of their respective clubs.

The conflict began last September when Acolfutpro presented Dimayor, which organizes the country's professional men's and women's championships, with petitions to improve the working conditions of soccer players.

Among the requests, which were signed by more than 1.100 players, there are issues such as the duration of the men's league, as well as that related to the women's tournament, because until last March it was not known if the 2019 edition was going to be played.

"On the subject of the women's tournament, it is knowing what their league will be, that they know what to expect so that they are not up and down with the decisions that managers adopt in relation to what their future work will be," she explained to Efe the executive director of Acolfutpro, Carlos González Puche, on October 2.

The athletes also say that various regulations of the Colombian Football Federation's Player's Statute "affect in some aspects" their rights and do not include in their content "issues that FIFA has ordered to include since 2018."

González pointed out that another of the requests is that the protocols be established "clearly" so that soccer players, both men and women, know which path they should take when they are "abused or discriminated against" because "they do not exist in the Federation manuals or regulations on that matter”.

In response, the Dimayor sent a letter to the union in which it ensures that the requests "cannot be understood as binding or definitive."

For this reason, the Ministry of Labor yesterday convened a meeting of the Special Commission for the Treatment of Conflicts before the International Labor Organization (Cetcoit) so that the Dimayor, the FCF and Acolfutpro resume negotiations on the status of the country's players.

However, the president of Dimayor, Jorge Enrique Vélez, decided not to attend because, as he explained, that entity "does not hold the status of employer of the professional soccer players affiliated with Acolfutpro and therefore lacks competence to enter into agreements with said association for account or on behalf of the clubs.

After the meeting, the Deputy Minister of Labor, Carlos Alberto Baena, reported that a new meeting will be held on November 1 with Cetcoit, to which the FCF, Dimayor and Acolfutpro have allegedly confirmed attendance.

However, Dimayor responded to Baena on Twitter that "at no time" has Vélez communicated with him "nor has he confirmed attendance at this new meeting."


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