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Brazilian fourth division team Gremio Barueri refuses to play, opponents lie down in solidarity

Saturday, 16 August 2014 - 9:07pm IST | Place: Sao Paulo | Agency: Reuters

Brazilian fourth division team Gremio Barueri failed to turn up for a match in protest at unpaid wages and their opponents Operario lay down on the pitch in sign of solidarity.

Match officials waited for 30 minutes before abandoning the match at the Arena Barueri on the outskirts of Sao Paulo while Operario players, who had travelled around 1,600 kilometres from Cuiaba for the game, lay on the field.

"The players demanded to be paid and it didn't happen," Filipe Rino, lawyer for the Sao Paulo players' union, told local media. The pressure group Bom Senso FC (Common Sense), set up by players last year to press for changes in Brazilian football, said it supported the Barueri protest. "Bom Senso FC gives total backing to the decision made by the players of Gremio Barueri," said the organisation on its Facebook page.

"The players have not received their wages for two months and their image rights in the last four months. "We also congratulate the gesture of the Operario players, who lay down on the ground, knowing that the game would not go ahead, as a way of symbolising the death of Brazilian football." "We continue fighting to improve Brazilian football," it added. "We hope that everyone involved in the most revered sport in our country finally open their eyes and collaborate to change this reality. Today, we have reached the bottom of the hole, and we are still digging downwards."

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