If you were tuning in this weekend hoping to see the resumption of the Argentine football season and have missed the news over the past few days, a strike organised by the professional football players’ union has meant the further postponement of matches.
Despite the league season already being delayed a month due to the government’s cancellation of the Fútbol Para Todos deal and the AFA’s inability to sign a new television contract, there is still no clear end in sight.
The players’ union had warned the AFA that unless outstanding salaries were paid then a strike would call a halt on the proposed restart on Friday evening but after being largely ignored until the last minute, no agreement was reached and in a show of solidarity the players went ahead with the strike.
The goverment confirmed that the 350 million pesos owed had been paid to the AFA but San Lorenzo president Matías Lammens said on Argentine radio on Saturday that this still hasn’t been transferred to the clubs.
Even if it had been, union general secretary Sergio Marchi had said that it would have been too late and not enough to cover the months of debt that certain clubs owe to the players.
San Lorenzo, like most of the big Primera clubs, are up to date with their payments but it is further down the Argentine footballing ladder that is most severely effected. Players in the lower leagues, who already do not earn huge wages, have not been paid and so it is with full justification that the union has taken action.
Friday’s Primera matches were the first casualties and the AFA eventually postponed the clashes between Rosario Central and Godoy Cruz and San Lorenzo against Belgrano.
However, initially Armando Pérez stated that this wouldn’t extend to the rest of the round of fixtures and clubs would be obliged to field sides or risk punishment.
This led to clubs stating that they would field youth sides and after a back and forth, this weekend’s Primera action and eventually Nacional B, Primera B and Primera C, were called off.
The AFA must now find an agreement with the players’ union as soon as possible to get salaries paid and Argentine football back up and running.