The Spanish Football Federation announced, on Wednesday, that the new Spanish women’s league will finally start after concluding an agreement to end the strike of referees who demanded better wages and working conditions.
The federation said a “historic” agreement with the government’s main sporting body would allow referees to gain professional status.
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The season was due to kick off earlier this month, but was postponed after the judging teams were not present.
This will be the first season of a fully professional women’s league in Spain, after the players have campaigned for years for better working conditions and wages.
Referees and assistant referees, all of whom are women, have complained that their concerns have not been addressed by the new women’s league.
The women’s federation blamed the federation and government officials responsible for sports policy.
The referees complained that they earn only 320 euros and their assistants 160 euros per game.
Under the new agreement, referees will win €1666 per match. The assistants will earn €1,066 per match and the fourth official will receive €250 per match.
Despite the increase, Liga Femenina said the agreed wages were much lower than what the Spanish federation and referees had initially requested – for a similar amount to be paid to referees in Spain’s second division, LaLiga Smartbank.
“For the Spanish Football League and its clubs, this meant spending 5 million euros on arbitration per season, this represents 70% of our income generated from TV rights,” the statement read.
“Faced with such a situation that is far removed not only from the reality of women’s football, but also from the social and economic context in which the country is going, Liga Femenina has always been resolute in its defense of a project that is sustainable over time and that, above all, respects the work and effort of many The people who fought for this project.”
Barcelona, champions of the 2021 Champions League, have won the Spanish League for the past three seasons.
Information from ESPN’s Adriana Garcia contributed to this report.