Thursday Kickoff: French clubs plan strike; Puyol fit for El Clasico; and more

Thursday Kickoff: French clubs plan strike; Puyol fit for El Clasico; and more

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Thursday Kickoff: French clubs plan strike; Puyol fit for El Clasico; and more

LucasParisSaintGermain1 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With their belief that the future of French soccer could be in peril, club’s in France’s top two divisions are preparing to take a serious stand against the French government.

According to reports in France, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs will go on strike at the end of November, refusing to play matches scheduled during the weekend of Nov. 29-Dec. 2 in protest of the government’s new tax law, which calls for a 75 percent tax to anyone earning more than one million Euros. French clubs are worried that talented players will leave France or choose play elsewhere due to most club’s inability to pay that large amount of taxes on more than just a handful of players.

”It’s a historic moment for French football. The whole of football has taken a very important decision,” Jean-Pierre Louvel, president of the Union of Professional Football Clubs told the AP. “We’re talking about the death of French football. That’s why we are fighting and we will continue to fight.”

According to the reports, the tax was a campaign promise from current Prime Minister Francois Hollande and would only be in place for two years, starting this year, and it’s expected to bring in €420 million ($580 million). Another big controversy with this law is that AS Monaco are exempt from paying the tax as they don’t fall under France’s tax law jurisdiction.

Here are some more stories to start your Thursday:

PUYOL DECLARES FITNESS FOR EL CLASICO

After missing more than six months with a serious knee injury, Carles Puyol is ready to regain his regular starting spot in Barcelona’s starting eleven.

The veteran defender went the full 90 in last Saturday’s scoreless draw at Osasuna but even though he was left out of the squad that playing in Milan, Puyol declared his fitness for this weekend’s El Clasico clash with Real Madrid.

“I feel great,” Puyol told Dario AS in Spain. “After Osasuna I exercised well and every day I feel better. I had doubts how (the knee) would react. I trained a little harder and the result was better than I expected.”

Puyol’s return comes at an important time with fellow Barcelona centerback Gerard Pique struggling with his fitness recently. Pique missed training on Wednesday following reports that he felt pain in his left leg.

QUICK KICKS

Ajax could face sanctions from UEFA after the behaivior of their visiting supporters on Tuesday at Celtic Park. (REPORT)

Players association FIFPro has said that the referee in the CSKA Moscov vs. Manchester City match failed to conduct the racism protocol when Yaya Toure pointed out the behavior from the stands. (REPORT)

Crystal Palace is approaching former Stoke City manager Tony Pulis over Palace’s open managerial position. (REPORT)

Club Tijuana has scheduled a friendly match against Club America set to take place at the StubHub Center on December 28. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with the decision to go on strike? Do you see the tax having a huge effect on French soccer? Do you see Puyol starting for Barcelona on Saturday against Real Madrid?

Share your thoughts below.

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