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Liga F strike: Spain’s top-tier women footballers to walk out over pay and conditions

Liga F strike: Spain’s top-tier women footballers to walk out over pay and conditions

Barcelona are the leading women’s side in Liga F and also lifted the Champions League in June

Players in the top tier of women’s football in Spain will strike over pay and conditions.

The new Liga F season is due to start on Friday but instead players will walk out for the first two games.

The Spanish Players’ Association [AFE] said the strike was called because a “fair” deal could not be reached.

Negotiations began a year ago, when Liga F turned professional, but the league said the players’ demands would lead to “economic failure”.

The minimum salary was set at 16,000 euros (£13,700) last season but players are requesting the minimum wage should be 25,000 euros for the 2023-24 campaign, rising to 30,000 euros for the following season.

AEF is the largest of several unions that are negotiating together on behalf of the players.

“The aim is to make progress in these negotiations, to achieve fair and dignified treatment for women footballers, (and) to address and reduce the existing pay gap,” the AFE said in a statement.

However, Liga F said they have already offered the players a minimum salary of 18,000 euros, increasing to 25,000 euros over the next three seasons, help with childcare and financial aid to study, among other proposals, which was refused.

In a statement,external-link the league said that despite the unions’ “blunt” response which showed “absolute immobility in their economic approaches”, they had returned with a 25% increase to the 16,000 salary, the elimination of part-time contracts and other benefits, but that too was declined.

“This Professional League will not give in to pressure or accept proposals that lead to the economic collapse of the competition, and, therefore, the failure of women’s professional football,” the statement added.

The first round of fixtures is due to take place 8-10 September, with the second round of matches scheduled for place 15-17 September.

Last year, the start of the Liga F season was also delayed when referees went on strike calling for better pay and working conditions.

Women’s football in Spain has been caught in controversy over the past few weeks after Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso following the country’s World Cup victory in August.

The incident, which Hermoso says was not consensual, has overshadowed the team’s achievement and led to Rubiales being suspended and head coach Jorge Vilda being sacked.

England’s Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh play their domestic football for eight-time Liga F champions Barcelona.

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