Women footballers in Spain’s top division will strike this weekend in a dispute over pay. Almost 200 players from 16 clubs voted to strike in October after more than a year of failed negotiations. They are demanding a professional agreement that regulates minimum working conditions, rights to minimum wages and measures for maternity.
UDG Tenerife did not to travel for their game at Espanyol on Saturday and will not field a team. The squad were set to fly to Barcelona on Friday, but after their flight was delayed by technical problems they decided to not to make the trip. In a statement on their website, the club said they “respect the position of the players to support the strike”, adding that they hope an agreement can be reached “for the sake of women’s football and generations to come”. There are eight matches in the top league which could be affected, two on Saturday and six on Sunday. Teams must be able to field seven players in order for games to go ahead. A video featuring top players, including Athletic Bibao goalkeeper Ainhoa Tirapu and fellow Spain international Silvia Meseguer of Atletico Madrid, was promoted on social media by the Association of Spanish Footballers, which is the players’ union. On the video, they say they are fighting for former players, current players and “for those who will one day be in our place”. The action was supported by 93% of players employed by 16 clubs at a meeting in Madrid on 22 October. Clubs are proposing a minimum wage of 16,000 euros but unions representing the players are asking for at least 20,000 euros.