By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Mainz acknowledge training boycott, Kicker discredits notions of pay-dispute or strike

Germany's Bild Zeitung claims to have inside knowledge of a players' strike at FSV Mainz. Kicker magazine casts doubt on this. The club itself issued a press release just before midnight in its first effort to engage in damage control.
In a late-night press release, German Bundesliga club FSV Mainz acknowledged that "emotional internal discussions concerning Adam Szalai" precluded its professionals from taking the training pitch on Wednesday. The club promised further clarification at a 13:00 press conference on Thursday. 

German football magazine Kicker cites its own research to tamp down some of the more sensationalist claims made by Germany's Bill-Zeitung earlier in the day. Kicker denies that the training boycott is related to deferred wages resulting from last spring's COVID lockdown. 

The magazine nevertheless concedes that a rift between head coach Achim Beierlorzer and his players is quite apparent. It is also noted that managing director Rouven Schröder attempted to mediate a quarrel that erupted between Beierlorzer and Szalai over the summer. Szalai was evidently told in no uncertain terms that he was no longer welcome at the club when this intervention failed. 

A training boycott remains no insignificant matter for any club. For the time being, however, it does not appear as if the players participated in or plan to participate in a general workers' strike. 

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