Quito, Nov 27 (IANS) Ecuador’s Footballers’ Association (AFE) declared on Thursday it will go on strike in support of its members who have not been paid for between four and five months in over a dozen clubs. The association has decided “to suspend all activities related to Ecuadorian soccer”, announced AFE vice president Edwin Tenorio Ecuador international. The strike was declared with only four dates left until the end of the second stage of Ecuador’s current championship season, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the local media, 18 clubs from the first and second divisions owe their players money. “The decision (regarding the suspension of activities) that we are announcing is legal,” Jorge Burgos, trustee of the AFE, told the media. The strike will continue “until we see what Ecuador’s highest soccer authority (Ecuadorian Football Federation) has to say about the matter”, said Ivan Hurtado, the President of the Association and former national player. The players will not allow themselves to be treated with “so much abuse and lies” from the clubs, said Hurtado, adding that the strike seeks to put an end to the lack of respect for soccer players. “The situation has gone beyond just talking and faced with this we have taken this measure,” said Hurtado. The AFE announced the strike will continue until various demands are met.