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Page last updated at 17:34 GMT, Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Footballers in Italy's Serie A announce strike

Sampdoria and AC Milan
AC Milan and Sampdoria in action in Serie A

Serie A's top stars are to go on strike on 11 and 12 December, the Italian Players' Association (AIC) has said.

The walkout follows a dispute between the AIC - the players' union - and Lega Calcio over a new collective contract.

Fixtures due to be held on the affected weekend include Lazio's trip to Juventus and Roma against Bari.

The strike follows a rejection by the top-flight clubs to reopen talks about a new contract, which lays down basic rights of players.

The agreement had expired in the summer and the AIC said players would strike if a new one was not reached by 30 November.

Serie A president Maurizio Beretta was furious after the last-ditch talks failed but said he hoped the walkout would be called off.

Inky Gibson

"Today's meeting was incredible, without precedence in history," Beretta stated.

"The union refused to listen to the intervention of the federation president, which included the issue of players outside the squad. At that point they got up from the table and left."

AIC vice-president Leonardo Gross had earlier stated: "The strike has been called for 11 and 12 December. We are very sad because there was a willingness to find an agreement."

The union is unhappy with Lega Calcio's demands that teams' unwanted players must train away from their first-team squads and accept transfers even when they are under contract.

A strike had originally been planned for September but was called off to allow more time for talks.

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see also
Serie A strike threat looms again
12 Nov 10 |  Europe
Strike by players to halt Serie A
10 Sep 10 |  Europe
Serie A to form breakaway league
30 Apr 09 |  Europe

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