Spain’s new professional women’s football league is finally set to start after being delayed by a referees’ strike.
A deal was struck on Wednesday to improve the wages and working conditions for match officials, the Spanish football federation (RFEF) announced.
The “historic” agreement will allow women’s referees to gain professional status, it said in a statement.
“The National Sports Council (CSD) will contribute an extra €350,000 per year for the first three seasons, which will go towards an end-of-career fund that referees will be able to draw on once their professional careers are over.”
The new season had been scheduled to kick off on 10 September but was postponed when referees refused to work.
The 2022-23 league will be the first fully professional women’s season in Spain after years of campaigning by players.
Referees and referee assistants had complained that they had been left behind, earning only €320 and €160 per game respectively.
Beatriz Álvarez, the president of the new women’s league, blamed the RFEF and Spanish government officials in charge of sports policy.