KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- The cash row prompting a players’ strike which halted the resumption of league action in Argentina last weekend has apparently been resolved.
The issue at the heart of the stand-off had been the end of the Futbol Para Todos TV rights deal through which clubs had been supposed to pay down their debts. Very few did, leaving some players claiming to be owed up to six months in back pay and bonuses.
An ensuing row led to Argentina being placed at risk of being suspended by world federation FIFA which would have jeopardised their World Cup qualifying campaign.
President Mauricio Macri’s government had promised $305m to pay up the remaining two years of the contract but the players’ union complained that this would not cover the debts.
Further cash has now been forthcoming from Tele Red Imagen, a subsidiary of the powerful Clarin media group ($47m) and new championship sponsor Axion Energy ($10m).
The players’ union was expected to approve formal ratification of the offer through the normalisation commission which, at the behest of FIFA and South American confedEration CONMEBOL, is running the AFA after it became politically paralysed.
Union leader Sergio Marchi said: “There is a now flow of funds to meet our members’ contracts. As long as the disbursements are enforced, we will lift the strike.”
Normalisation president Armando Perez said: “It’s 90pc certain we will have a return of footyball.”
The $57m will be split $43.5m for players and $13.5m to pay up employer contributions to the union. In addition, the union and AFA have agreed a new payment settlement by which the AFA will not permit pay delays ofmore than two months.
It is hoped that AFA elections can finally be held next month which will help avoid the risk of an international suspension for Argentina. Claudio Tapia, president of Central Barracas, is favourite to win the presidency.