Italian football postpones talks about season and wage cuts

Italy’s footballers union (AIC) and Serie A clubs have postponed talks set for Monday regarding salary cuts and the future of the season, which is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ANSA news agency quoted league sources as saying that the protracted duration of a previous meeting held by both parties led to the rescheduling.

“In the unfortunate case of an anticipated closure of the season … the footballers know they have to play their part,” the AIC said in a note issued after a board meeting of the union.

“Amateurs, women footballers and the lower wages in professional leagues must be protected, either through resources from inside football [or] unemployment benefits.”

The union added that Italian football federation (FIGC), the leagues and international bodies will continue to discuss how to find and allocate resources in the coming weeks.

“The worry that the leagues are over exists,” AIC president Damiano Tommasi had told earlier the ANSA news agency. “We must therefore face the problem of the closure of the season, considering sporting results and contracts, in a formal way.”

Read also: Coronavirus deaths in France top 3,000

Tommasi spoke after Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said late Sunday he will extend the suspension of all sporting activities from April 3 to the end of the month as Italy is set to continue a lockdown that began on March 9.

With 11,591 deaths, Italy is the world’s hardest hit country by Covid-19.

Serie A has 12 games left, with the Italian Cup semi-finals also still to be played. Five Italian teams are in European competitions.

“Regarding salary cuts, we seek, if possible, an across-the-board solution,” Tommasi said, adding that he did not feel delegitimized after Juventus announced on Saturday that their footballers had agreed to forego their pay from March to June if the league is cancelled.

“Unless there is litigation between clubs and players we [the AIC] don’t have to intervene.” (dpa)

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