Brazilian footballers threaten strike over crowded calendar

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-9-25 9:32:48

Brazilian footballers have threatened to go on strike if their governing body does not agree to change the 2014 calendar.

The Fenapaf players' union said Tuesday it would ask its members to boycott the final two rounds of the season to protest against the crowded draw.

"I am preparing and will later forward the proposal to all of the players," Fenapaf president Alfredo Sampaio said.

"They have to have consciousness and courage, if not nothing will change. We can't allow this to continue."

Brazil's fixturing has long been criticized by players, coaches and local media for both its duration and quantity of matches.

The season lasts for more than 10 months a year to accommodate state championships, the national league, the Brazil Cup and continental tournaments.

In contrast most European seasons last nine months.

Next year's fixture list is even more crammed to accommodate for the World Cup, which will halt all local competitions from early June to mid July.

"If the calendar is already a joke, 2014 is absurd and everyone knows it," Sampaio said.

The Brazilian Football Confederation declined to comment on Tuesday.

Local media reported that at least 70 players - including former Arsenal captain Gilberto Silva, ex-AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato and former Real Madrid forward Julio Baptista - had signed a petition demanding change.

Critics have also called for the season to replicate the European calendar, providing a break in the Brazilian winter months of June and July, instead of summer.

Posted in: Soccer

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