Matches in the Spanish women’s football league, playing for the first time as professionals, were suspended on Saturday due to a referees’ strike.
Atletico Madrid announced on social media that their opening match against Real Sociedad “cannot start due to the non-appearance of the refereeing team”.
The referees, who work for the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), are demanding professional status and payment in line with the men’s Liga.
“We referees want to provide the best possible service to football, and this necessarily involves obtaining working conditions close to those of the men’s first division,” the referees said in a statement.
Friday evening, the new Professional Women’s Football League (LPFF) said they would “not accept blackmail” and all women’s teams would be on the pitch for their matches.
“In the event that the referees and their assistants do not go to their appointments, the LPFF will file a complaint so that the corresponding sanctions are adopted,” it added.
The clubs insist that they have already sent a proposal to increase the remuneration of referees, but have not received any response.