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Players in Colombia and Bolivia are fighting back after football authorities ignored them.

Dozens of Colombian footballers staged sit-down protests last weekend after league organizer Dimayor ordered matches to take place at the hottest time of the day as part of a government initiative to save energy.

In Bolivia, all 12 first-division teams signed an agreement that they won’t make themselves available for June's Copa America unless the national federation enforces 32 rulings to pay $650,000 in outstanding wages to players and coaches.

Colombian players’ union Acolfutpro filed a complaint to the Labour Ministry that playing games between 10am and 4pm at temperatures of as high as 40 degrees Centigrade was a health risk. A ministry inspector told the league to suspend the schedule only to be overruled by his superiors.

“They are risking the health of players just to save some electricity,” Luis Garcia, Acolfutpro General Secretary, said.

According to a paper by FIFPro chief medical officer Vincent Gouttebarge matches played at temperatures over 38 degrees Centigrade are an extreme health risk.

In Bolivia, players are threatening to boycott the Copa America. Bolivia is one of 16 teams scheduled to play in the centenary edition of South America’s biggest national-team tournament which takes place in the U.S.

David Paniagua, General Secretary of players’ union FABOL, said it's the third time in recent years that players have had to threaten a national-team boycott over the same issue.

“We are tired of taking this course of action but we don't have an alternative," Paniagua said.

Late last week, the federation pledged to fine clubs which do not abide by the 32 rulings, which date back to last year.

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