Senior Uruguay footballers Nunez and Pellistri show support to players on strike in country

A number of senior Uruguay men’s football players have issued a statement in support of the strike taking place by the Uruguayan Mutual of Professional Soccer Players (MUFP).

Footballers who perform in Uruguay’s top two divisions, Primera and Segunda, have been on strike since September 7 after clubs did not vote in favour of reforms put forward by the country’s players.

The reforms proposed by the MUFP include, among other issues, increasing the minimum salary for players in the Second Division, which FIFPro, the union representing footballers, claim has been the biggest difficulty.

A statement released by the MUFP on September 7 said that since the clubs had not reached an agreement on their proposals and all deadlines had passed, the players have chosen to “suspend official activities”.

Senior Uruguay players have since released a joint statement to show their support. The likes of Manchester United’s Facundo Pellistri, Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez and Atletico Madrid’s Jose Maria Gimenez have said that “we reiterate our support to the mutual and to our colleagues”.

The statement read: “In relation to the current situation that our local colleagues are going through, who since September 7 have had to adopt trade union measures that imply no official competition, in defence of their legitimate interests, we, the football players of the senior national team, declare the following:

“Our full support and backing for the measure adopted, understanding that it seeks to establish necessary reforms to the collective agreement in force, in pursuit of a modernisation that is essential in our football, and thus adapt its situation to that of any developed country.

“We denounce that the serious situation that our football is going through is the result of the defence made by certain directors of a sector of clubs in relation to political and economic interests of third parties that in no way agree with the development and welfare of Uruguayan football. These leaders are the ones who are truly responsible for the current situation, given that they have repeatedly and systematically refused to introduce the necessary reforms to modernise our football.

“We consider it essential to implement a reform that prioritises football’s main asset, which is none other than the football players, so that they can develop their profession in a dignified environment and with fair working conditions.”

Uruguay men’s national team are next in action when they play Colombia on October 12.



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(Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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