The Japan Pro Footballers Association has decided to unionize as it continues to fight the Japan Football Association over a pay hike for national team players.
Kyodo News learned Wednesday that the JPFA held a meeting on Feb. 28 in which a majority of its members voted to turn the group into a formal, legal union.
The JPFA did not formally comment.
Unionizing the JPFA gives the players the right to legally go on strike, as they have threatened to do in the past for Japan friendly matches. Japan’s next match is on March 25 against Montenegro in Shizuoka.
The JFA, which currently issues a daily allowance of ¥10,000 plus performance bonuses to players, has lambasted the JPFA’s drive to seek a pay rise, refusing to even meet to discuss the matter.