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Argentina pays players to avert strike

River Plate and Boca Juniors are the two most succesful club sides in Argentine football © Noticias Argentinas/AFP / Federico Pandolfi

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Mar 2 – Argentina’s government said Thursday it paid Sh2.3bn ($22 million) to the country’s Football Association to avert a players’ strike over unpaid wages that threatened to disrupt the new season.

The Argentina Footballers’ Union (AFA) had threatened to strike on the first day of the season Friday in a dispute over redistribution of broadcasting revenues.

It said some players had not been paid for four months because the state had failed to redistribute broadcasting revenues to their clubs.

In a decision published in the official journal, the government approved the payment of 350 million pesos ($22 million) to the AFA, which will pass it on to clubs.

A management crisis in the AFA has disrupted Argentine domestic football and the national team.

It has sparked criticism of the AFA by the likes of Argentina’s World Cup legend Diego Maradona.

Last week the AFA ended a contract that gave the state broadcasting rights to top matches.

The association is scheduled to elect a new president next month.

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