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Spain women’s league players call off strike after pay deal

Footballers from Spain’s women’s top flight, Liga F, have called off a strike which postponed the first week of fixtures after an agreement over wages was reached, unions and the league said Thursday.

“Liga F and the unions have reached an agreement regarding the minimum wage that allows the strike to be called off,” said Liga F in a statement.

Five unions, including AFE and Futpro, called a strike covering the first two rounds of fixtures last week.

“The deal is in regard to the minimum wage, the main cause of the strike — accepted by the players as an act of responsibility to the fans of the sport,” said the unions in a statement.

Liga F has agreed to raise the minimum wage from 16,000 euros ($17,000) a year to 21,000 euros ($22,500) in the current season, rising to 23,500 euros ($25,500) by the 2025-26 campaign.

Players were asking for a minimum wage starting at 23,000 euros from this season onwards.

However despite the strike being called off, the unions said there were various other issues on which agreements have not been reached after a year of negotiations. 

“This step is the beginning and only a part of the agreement — now it is time to work to move forward on important points such as maternity, harassment protocol (and other aspects),” the unions added.

Matches will now take place this weekend after the games on September 8-10 were not played.

Last season a refereeing strike disrupted the first week of Liga F matches.

Eventually, the league agreed to pay referees higher match fees, while the Spanish government said they would contribute to a refereeing retirement fund.

Spanish women’s football has been in the spotlight after La Roja won the World Cup in August, but the victory was tainted by an incident involving former federation president Luis Rubiales at the medal ceremony after the game.

Rubiales, 46, sparked worldwide outrage when he forcibly kissed Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips.

The chief has since resigned and is set to appear in court on Friday after a Spanish judge opened an investigation into the incident.

Currently, 81 Spain players are striking against the women’s national team, until the leadership of the federation changes. Rubiales has resigned and controversial women’s coach Jorge Vilda was sacked.

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