The start of the season in Italy's Serie A has been delayed by at least two weeks because of a players' strike which has led to the cancellation of this weekend's opening programme of matches.
The strike action has been caused by a dispute between the players' union Associazione Calciatori Italiani (AIC) and the league governing body Lega Calcio, after the latter organisation refused to sign a collective contract proposed by the players.
The AIC confirmed the action with an official statement: "Taking note of the missing signature on the collective agreement, Serie A players will not take to the field on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August."
"In light of the players' strike, the first matchday of the 2011/12 season will be rearranged for later in the season," confirmed the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).
With UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying games taking place this coming week – and Italy in Group C action against the Faroe Islands and Slovenia – the second matchday of the Serie A season is due to take place on 10/11 September.
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