Spain's Liga F players are going on strike
The GIST: The soccer drama in Spain continues. The country’s highest level of pro women’s football, Liga F, won't kick off its season today as scheduled due to a league-wide players strike over conditions and pay.
The details: The Spanish Players Association (AFE) — one of several player unions negotiating with the league — called a two-week strike after Liga F failed to offer a fair minimum wage deal. The union wants a $26K minimum wage, while the league offered a minimum player salary of $19K for this year’s campaign — a fraction of the $197K guaranteed for La Liga players.
- Liga F also offered academic financial aid and childcare help, but the players refused the lower wage and benefits as they push for pay continuity during maternity leave.
- The league criticized the union for its "absolute immobility in its financial proposals," that would lead to “economic collapse” of the league. This condescension isn't very cute coming from a league that features teams like Barcelona, which set huge attendance records for women's sports — twice. BBHMM.
The context: Following its FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) victory, the global spotlight on Spain's national team has exposed the rampant sexism these women have endured for years. In a pivotal moment when Spain should be capitalizing on the success of its superstars, organizations continue to undermine and invalidate their athletes.
Zooming out: Liga F athletes are taking cues from the strides made by unified national teams, such as the USWNT’s equal pay victory and CanWNT’s ongoing fight for equality. Most of Spain's national team hails from Liga F, and considering the determination and resilience they have displayed, the fight is far from over.
- Liga F could take this time to grow the women's game and combat global critiques, but instead, Spanish soccer federations are fielding one sexist dispute after another. Strike or not, Spanish players and fans are a force to be reckoned with — it's mes que un club.