Spanish soccer players’ strike suspended by High Court

Games to go ahead as normal this weekend after judges favor Liga governing body request

Some of Spanish soccer’s biggest names during the announcement of the strike last week.
Some of Spanish soccer’s biggest names during the announcement of the strike last week.Luis Sevillano / EL PAÍS

A strike called by Spanish soccer players over the distribution of TV rights to broadcast games has been suspended by the national High Court.

The tribunal’s employment division ruled in favor of the Spanish LFP professional soccer league, which had requested the suspension of the strike. The stoppage had been scheduled for the upcoming next two Liga match days.

The decision means that all Liga games will go ahead as normal this weekend.

The strike had been backed by stars such as Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, and Barcelona’s Xavi

The governing body for Spanish soccer had argued that the strike was a political matter, as it had been called against legislation regulating the joint selling of TV rights to domestic games and thus did not affect working conditions.

Without getting into details, the High Court ordered the suspension of the strike as a precautionary measure until it can carry out a judicial analysis of the dispute.

Backed by the AFE soccer players’ union – including stars such as Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, and Barcelona’s Xavi and Gerard Piqué – the RFEF Spanish soccer federation’s decision to stop all matches on May 16 is to protest against new regulations that came into force on April 30 governing the joint selling of broadcast rights to Spanish club matches.

The AFE and RFEF are against how the money is to be split between first- and second-division teams. The former are set to receive 90 percent and the latter 10 percent, which it believes is unfair to lower-league clubs. In France the share is 80-20 and in Germany it is 79-21, they say.

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