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Italian players' strike comes to an end

September 5, 2011 -- Updated 1711 GMT (0111 HKT)
Italian Football Federation chief Giancarlo Abete was present as an agreement was reached with the players' union.
Italian Football Federation chief Giancarlo Abete was present as an agreement was reached with the players' union.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Italy's Serie A will kick-off this weekend after strike action was ended
  • Players had been on strike over changes to collective bargaining agreement
  • The season will begin with AC Milan v Lazio on Friday

(CNN) -- The Italian Serie A football season is set to get underway this weekend after the players' union (AIC) reached an agreement with the league on Monday.

The AIC had been on strike over planned changes to the collective bargaining agreement between the players and the league, but a new contract has been signed which will enable the competition to kick-off with champions AC Milan taking on Lazio on Friday.

The players had rejected moves by Lega Serie A to hand managers the power to make unwanted squad members train away from the first team and force players to pay a solidarity tax which applies to the league's highest earners.

The 2011-12 campaign was due to begin on Saturday August 27 with Milan playing Cagliari, but strike action forced the start of the season to be postponed.

A new collective contract, valid until the end of June 2012, has been signed today
FIGC statement

"A new collective contract, valid until the end of June 2012, has been signed today," the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said in a statement.

"The signing took place after a meeting this morning during which the lawyers of both parties have put up the final details."

Napoli, who finished third last season, begin their title challenge away at Cesena on Saturday, with Inter Milan, 18-time champions, traveling to Palermo on Sunday.

In addition to Italian top-flight football being delayed by a strike, the top two leagues in Spain were forced to push back the start of their season by a week after a similar move by their footballers' association.

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