The players' union, Associazione Calciatore Italiana, confirmed yesterday the 16th round of Serie A games on 11 and 12 December will not be played in protest against the Italian league, who have not renewed the collective bargaining agreement which expired in June.
In the pick of the games due that weekend, league leaders AC Milan were scheduled to face Bolonga, while Alessandro Del Piero's Juventus were to host Lazio. Beretta described the union's decision as an "irresponsible one and without reason". Yesterday was the last day given by the AIC to the Lega A to reach an agreement but, just like in previous meetings, the talks in Rome, mediated by Italy's Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete, proved unsuccessful.
"We are witnessing a dangerous play of massacre," said Beretta after the meeting in Rome. "The players' strike is an irresponsible decision and without reason. I am stunned by the AIC's decision to walk away from the negotiating table while Abete was illustrating the proposal prepared by the FIGC. This is a day without precedence."
At issue is the collective contract between the association and the league guaranteeing players' rights. It expired on 30 June, but no action has been taken by the League since then.
The AIC called off a strike back in September after the two sides agreed to negotiate. The main area of disagreement is over what the players perceive as a lack of protection when clubs try to force them into a transfer when they enter the final year of their contracts.