BUENOS AIRES: All the weekend’s football matches in Argentina’s top three divisions have been postponed amid a players’ strike over delayed salary payments writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The players’ union has argued that clubs are facing an escalating financial crisis and that some playes have not paid them for up to five months.
Argentina’s troubled football association had said negotiations had progressed and that the season would resume on Friday.
But players say they will nor turn up for league matches until they are paid.
The AFA is currently comparatively powerless with the game in Argentina being run by a normalisation commission appointed jointly by world governing body FIFA and South American confederation CONMEBOL.
The latest crisis began after the government refused to maintain the Futbol Para Todos television rights deal by which it had paid the clubs.
State President Mauricio Macri complained that the clubs had refused to honour the original agreement that the cash should be used to pay off debts.
The government agreed to pay up the remainder of the TV contract and made a settlement payment of $22m on Thursday. However the players’ union said that the sum was enough to cover outstanding wages and bonuses owed to players over the past five months.
On Friday afternoon, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) postponed two matches – Rosario Central v Godoy Cruz, in the city of Rosario, and San Lorenzo v Belgrano, in Buenos Aires.
Later it announced that talks with the union had collapsed and that all 13 other matches from the top division, known as Primera A, had been postponed.
Second and third division matches were also called off. Only non-professional footballers from the fourth division have been playing this weekend.