Women footballers in Spain’s top flight have voted 93% in favour of going on strike over minimum pay and rights after more than a year of negotiations with the national Association of Women’s Football Clubs have not yielded an agreement over improved conditions.

200 players representing all 16 Primera Iberdrola clubs, including champions Atletico Madrid, 2019 Champions League finalists Barcelona and CD Tacon, the team that will become Real Madrid, were at a meeting on Tuesday convened by the Association of Spanish Footballers.

The players were informed by the union what happened during the latest round of negotiations - Marca reports that one aspect concerns players receiving an annual minimum wage - and the general status of the talks with the Association of Women’s Football Clubs. 

Following two hours of debate, the players virtually unanimously decided to call a strike.

David Aganzo, president of the players’ union (AFE), revealed that 18 meetings have been held without a suitable deal being offered and preached to the AFE website the importance of footballers having a ‘decent agreement to recognise their labour rights’.

Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper and vice-president of the union’s Women’s Committee Ainhoa Tirapu said, “It’s not just money, we go much further in terms of rights. We hope to reach an agreement at some point, but we had to make drastic decisions because it is time for women’s football.”

Ainhoa Tirapu

Tirapu stressed that players are fighting as much for future generations as themselves.

“We asked for minimum rights as workers,” she said. “We have struggled to achieve it, we have lowered demands, but nothing has been achieved. Now we can fight and we are paving the way for other players. We must not be inactive and fight for our rights.”

The players’ union has been tasked with initiating the relevant legal procedures and will then communicate the official start date of the strike in due course.


At international level, Spain are currently 13th in the FIFA World Rankings. They reached the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup for the first time earlier this year, narrowly losing to the United States, and are tipped as one of the sides to watch in the coming years.

Of the 23 players named in the World Cup squad, 20 of them were based at Spanish clubs.

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