23 October 2019

Spanish football strike threatens Manchester City's Champions League game

Footballers in Spain's top women's division have said they are going on strike which threatens Atletico Madrid's Champions League match against Manchester City.

The match, which is scheduled for October 30, is the decider in the last 16 round of the tournament after the first leg ended 1-1 on October 16.

The Spanish players have been in talks with the Association of Women's Football Clubs for the past 13 months trying to secure a new collective bargaining agreement. 

The players are seeking to be full-time professionals with the minimum wage raised to 16,000 Euro. In addition, they want a maternity policy, holiday leave and injury leave.

Last night, 200 footballers gathered to vote on strike action and 93% were in favour.

Ainhoa ​​Tirapu, Atletico player and vice president of the Association of Spanish Footballers Women's Committee, said: “We have spent more than a year negotiating, have had 18 meetings and negotiations have stagnated.

"We are 100 per cent footballers, at all hours: when we go to sleep early because we train [in the morning], in how we look after ourselves in what we eat to be fit, when we are completely available to promote our clubs.

"It is a difficult day for me, but it looked like negotiations were not going to move along... We are asking for minimum workers' rights."

Spanish player Marta Corredera stressed that this is not a fight for equal pay.

Corredera said: "We are aware that it is now or never. We do not what to talk about equality with the men, we are only defending the rights we have as people and as workers."

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox