Chile’s players threaten strike after FA leaves 420 without contracts

July 14 – Professional footballers in Chile have announced strike action for the weekend of 22, 23 and 24 July if the country’s football association (ANFP) does not comply with the wishes of players’ association Sifup, according to the international players’ union FIFPro.

One of the issues is that the ANFP has apparently decided to scrap its proposal – made in agreement with Sifup and other stakeholders – to schedule the 2016-2017 season from February to December instead of the existing calendar that runs from July until April.

The ANFP has also decided that there will be no relegation from Primera B (second division) to the Segunda (third division) and has postponed the start of the third division.

As a consequence, 420 players are currently without a contract, say FIFPro, most of them from the third division. Sifup President Carlos Soto explained: “If there’s no chance of going up, nobody will make an effort to recruit anyone else, and if no one is in danger of going down, the same will happen.”

The ANFP has also apparently also changed the relegation rule for the top division, with only one instead of two teams to be demoted.

On Monday during the Sifup general assembly, players of all clubs in the two top divisións unanimously agreed to halt competition in the top two divisions if a binding negotiation table could not be set up between ANFP, the Board of Presidents, Sifup and the College of Football Coaches to take an in-depth look at the issues involved.

Chilean international midfielder David Pizarro, captain of Santiago Wanderers, was quoted as saying: “Right now we are American champions, but our home football is going to the dogs.”

Chile retained their Copa America title last month beating Argentina in the final last month. They won the 2015 title similarly beating Argentina on penalties.

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