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Spanish referees reach deal to end strike, paving way for women’s league to start

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Spain’s new professional women’s league will finally get to start after a deal was struck to end a strike by the referees who demanded better wages and work conditions, the Spanish soccer federation said Wednesday.

The federation said a “historic” agreement with the government’s main sports body will allow the women referees to gain professional status.

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The season had been scheduled to kick off earlier this month, but was delayed after the refereeing crews did not show up.

This will be the first season of a fully professional women’s league in Spain, after its players campaigned for years for better working conditions and pay.

The referees and referee assistants, who are all women, complained that their own concerns had not been addressed by the new women’s league.

The women’s league had put the blame on the federation and government officials in charge of sports policy.

The referees complained that they only made €320 ($319) and assistants €160 ($159) per game.

Barcelona, the 2021 Champions League winners, have won the Spanish league for the past three seasons.

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