The organization of the Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced a so-called lockout for the first time in 26 years.

The MLB leadership was unable to reach an agreement with the players' union on a new collective labor agreement.

The old collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight on Wednesday, which is why the MLB has imposed a lockout, which means, among other things, that players are not allowed to play, change clubs and have no access to their club's facilities.

The organization of the MLB and the players' union did meet again on Wednesday.

The conversation was interrupted after 45 minutes, because both parties were unable to resolve the matter.

The first lockout since 1994-1995 thus became inevitable.

Negotiations had been difficult for some time.

The players' union wanted drastic changes to the collective labor agreement, but the MLB's proposals were not enough for the union.

Just before the lockout started, the clubs quickly committed 1.4 billion dollars (more than 1.2 billion euros) to players.

MLB season starts at the end of March

For the time being, the lockout has no direct consequences for games, because the new MLB season starts on March 31, 2022. The clubs will start their preparations in mid-February.

"Despite all efforts to negotiate a deal with the players' union, we have been unable to extend our 26-year history of labor peace and come to an agreement," MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred said in an open letter to the fans.

"This is a difficult day for baseball. But as I've been saying all year, there's a path to a fair deal and we're going to find it. I remain optimistic that both sides will seize the opportunity to work together to to grow, protect and enhance the sport we love.”

Antillean Ozzie Albies took the MLB title with the Atlanta Braves a month ago by winning the World Series.

The Georgia club became champions for the first time since 1995.

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