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Italian player strike to bring Serie A to halt

Serie A has been thrown into crisis after the Italian Professional Players' Association (AIC) voted to go on strike on the weekend of September 25-26 and bring the league to a halt.

The players are protesting against the failure to agree a new collective-bargaining agreement between AIC and the Lega Calcio which would guarantee players' rights.

The club owners of Serie A had said they would propose a new collective deal this Monday but their attempts to "impose new contractual rules" was met with resistance by the players, who also feel aggrieved at a clubs trying to force players to move teams in the last year of their contracts.

Milan full-back Massimo Oddo read out the following statement: "The association, in accordance with the players of Serie A, has decided that they will not take to the pitch for the fifth round of matches of the Serie A championship on September 25 and 26 in protest against requests to impose new contractual rules."

Oddo added: "The players are fed up with being treated like objects and not like people. We are dealing with human rights here."

The strike will take place on a weekend scheduled to host a full programme of Serie A games, including a high-profile clash between Roma and Inter.

A meeting will take place on Monday between Italy's football federation president Giancarlo Abete and his Serie A and AIC counterparts to discuss the way forward.

"The strike is likely to take place regardless of the decision that could come out of Monday's meeting,'' added Oddo.

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