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By ESPN Staff

Italian lower league players to strike

ROME, Aug 3 (Reuters) - The Italian Footballers' Association (AIC) on Sunday proposed a strike for the first day of the lower league season and said the opening matches in Serie A and B would start 30 minutes late.

Authorities have set a limit on the number of players allowed in squads in Lega Pro, the new name for Italy's Serie C1 and C2, in a bid to avoid more third and fourth tier clubs getting into financial difficulty after several folded.

The AIC has said hundreds of players are therefore at risk of being made unemployed.

The AIC proposed the strike for Aug 31 on its website and said its members from Serie A and Serie B would delay the scheduled start of their league programmes on the same weekend.

'On the first day of the season, Serie A and B teams will take the field 30 minutes late as a sign of solidarity (for the released players),' the statement said.

Many Serie B and lower league clubs have struggled due to the lack of a television deal and the worldwide credit crunch.

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