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Spanish women’s league strike deal with referees

Matches in the Spanish women’s football league will be played this weekend after a referees’ strike forced the first round of fixtures to be postponed. 

Rebranded as Liga F, the Professional Women’s Football League (LPFF) was professionlised but the disagreement with the officials, who work for the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), derailed its opening weekend. 

An agreement was announced late Wednesday by the LPFF after a meeting held by the Spanish Sports Council (CSD) between the league and the RFEF. 

“Liga F informs that the refereeing collective have finally accpeted the proposal put forward by this league, so the professional women’s football competition will resume next weeked after the shameful episode on matchday one, which should never have been allowed to happen,” said the LPFF. 

The league has agreed to raise the pay for referees from 300 euros ($300) to 1,666 euros per match, while assistant referees will be paid 1,066 per game, compared to 166 previously. 

The RFEF had initially proposed a match fee of 21,000 euros per game for referees, which the LPFF noted would cost 5 million euros a season. 

“That is 70 percent of the audio-visual incomings generated by the competition,” added the LPFF.

“Faced with this position, far removed from the reality of women’s football and the socioeconomic context the country is going through, Liga F has always been firm in its defence of a project that is sustainable. 

“The union and solidity of the clubs, players, coaches, fans and public opinion has led the refereeing collective to come to its senses. Thank you.”

The RFEF said in a statement that the CSD would contribute 350,000 euros a year to a retirement fund the referees could access at the end of their professional career, which they would match, for the next three years. 

The new opening match of the season sees reigning champions Barcelona face Tenerife on Saturday August 17.

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