Colombia’s football players announce strike after labor condition demands ignored

(Image by Henry Leonardo Lopez Mora) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Colombia’s football players’ association announced they will stop playing after the country’s football federation and league bosses refused to negotiate labor conditions.

According to football players’ association Acofutpro, its members will stop taking part in first and second league games after November 3 unless the football federation and the league agree to talks.

The players will continue to take part in training sessions, Acofutpro said in a press release in which it stressed it has been requesting a meeting since September.

The players association was supposed to meet with representatives of Dimayor, the league organizer, at a reconciliation meeting at the Labor Ministry on Monday, but was stood up by the league representative.

Dimayor president Jorge Enrique Velez, wrote to the ministry that his organization “is not the employer of the professional football players” and “not competent to come to agreements… on behalf of and/or in representation of the affiliated clubs.”

The football federation has ignored the players’ requests for talks entirely it seems.


What the football players want

  • Negotiate the calendar of professional games, and rest and recuperation periods.
  • Agreement on the football federation’s player statute
  • Agreement on the football federation’s disciplinary code
  • Agreement on the football federation’s compulsory labor contract
  • Improve professional women’s football league
  • Complementary health policies
  • Timetables, intervals and rest time between matches
  • Annual benefit match of Colombia’s veterans team for Acolfutpro
  • Participation in decision making over television rights
  • Annual meetings with the players of the men’s and women’s leagues

Velez wrote to the Labor Ministry that his organization will meet with Dimayor’s 36 football clubs on October 30 and 31 during which, among other things, “the competence of the entity to negotiate with this association” will be on the agenda.

Football teams have threatened to fire players who take part in the strike which could mean a financial disaster for the teams, the league and the television stations that broadcast the matches.

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