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Italian soccer players assert strike deadline

The Italian soccer players' union has reiterated that it will go on strike if an agreement with the league is not reached by Nov. 30.

The AIC refused to accept the proposal that clubs can force unwanted players to train away from the first team or accept a transfer.

The previous collective agreement contract expired in the offseason.

"The hope of all is to get a collective agreement, but if this doesn't happen by Nov. 30 a day of suspension and protest will automatically take place," AIC general secretary Gianni Grazioli said. "We will wait and see what happens ahead of Nov. 30 and we will continue to make ourselves available, as we showed by agreeing to the arbitration of (Italian football association president Giancarlo) Abete."

Italy's players initially voted to strike on the weekend of Sept. 24-25 before calling it off.

"The idea of the strike makes no sense," Serie A president Maurizio Beretta said. "I feel that our search for a solution is being undermined with inappropriate statements.

"I think that from today we have enough time and tools to reach an agreement by Nov. 30, but you can't just talk about some of the issues and the negotiations are not helped by talk of a strike."

Abete has attempted to intervene in the row and has threatened to call in an independent arbiter to break the deadlock. Ultimately, Abete may need to ask the Italian Olympic committee to help resolve the situation.

"I am confident that we can arrive at an agreement on the collective contract before Nov. 30," Italian Olympic committee president Gianni Petrucci said. "Good sense always prevails."