SPAIN – Liga strike suspended

The final two rounds of the Liga season will go ahead after a Spanish High Court ruling on Thursday

A players’ strike which threatened to disrupt the end of the Liga season has been suspended.

The Spanish High Court decided on Thursday the strike was illegal, meaning the final two rounds of games – as well as the Copa del Rey final – can now go ahead.

The strike was initially called by the Spanish Football Association (RFEF) in conjunction with the players’ union (AFE) following a dispute over the distribution of television revenue.

The Spanish government announced a new television rights deal on April 30 that will see the introduction of a more collective system that will no longer allow the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona to negotiate their own contracts for the broadcasting of their league games.

The new agreement was widely praised but the AFE, which believes it neglects to address some key issues, called a strike for the last two weekends of the season, starting on May 16.

Its decision was seconded by the RFEF, and although talks took place between the AFE and Spain’s Professional Football League (LFP) in Madrid on Tuesday, no progress was made.

A decision was delayed on Wednesday but the court in Madrid opted on Thursday to play the games, meaning Barcelona can clinch the title this weekend with a win at defending champions Atletico Madrid.

A number of high-profile players, including Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, have given their support to the AFE.