MADRID — Matches in the Spanish women’s soccer league, played for the first time as professionals, were suspended on Saturday due to a strike by referees.
Atletico Madrid announced on social media that their opener against Real Sociedad ‘cannot start due to the non-appearance of the refereeing team’.
The referees, who work for the Spanish Football Federation, demand professional status and payment in line with the men’s La Liga.
“We referees want to provide the best possible service to football, and this necessarily means obtaining working conditions close to those of the men’s first division,” the referees said in a statement.
On Friday night, the new Women’s Professional Football League (LPFF) said it “would not accept blackmail” and that 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”, he added.
The clubs insist they have already sent a proposal to raise referee pay but have received no response.