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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Football players strike over shoes

Norwegian football fans were facing a frustrating weekend, after the union representing players called a strike that forced the cancellation of top league matches scheduled for Sunday and Monday.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) confirmed Friday afternoon that the strike could have been avoided were it not for disagreement over whether players should be allowed to choose their own equipment such as the shoes they prefer to wear on the field. “The shoe deal was critical,” Bjørn Tangnes of NHO Idrett, which represented club owners, told NRK. “If we had agreed on it, we could have agreed on everything else.”

Players’ union NISO claimed negotiations broke down over many other issues, but all agreed the shoe issue caused problems. The players want the right to choose the shoes that personally suit them best, regardless of brand and supplier. Club owners wouldn’t go along because of the economics and potential sponsorships involved.

The strike affects 95 players in nine of Norway’s top league clubs for men. It postpones the entire Eliteserie round and cancelled the following matches over the weekend: Rosenborg vs Sogndal, Fredrikstad vs Haugesund, Aalesund vs Tromsø, Lillestrøm vs Start of Kristiansand, Viking of Stavanger vs Sarpsborg and Vålerenga of Oslo vs Molde on Sunday, and Brann of Bergen vs Odd Grenland on Monday. The only match unaffected by the strike, which will proceed as scheduled is that between Stabæk and Stømsgodset.

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