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Referee Marta Huerta: “The decision to stop is exclusively ours. We don’t take orders from anyone.”

However, Marta Huerta says that the RFEF will negotiate on the referees’ behalf.

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Matchday 1 of the newly-professional women’s football league in Spain, termed ‘Liga F’, was suspended following a referee ‘strike’. Following statements from both the RFEF (Royal Spanish Football Federation) and LPFF (the league governing body), the CTA (Technical Referees Committee) had a press release scheduled for Monday.

Here are the quotes and reactions.

Speaking to the press, Marta Huerta, a Spanish referee had the following to say:

The decision to stop is exclusively ours. We don’t take orders from anyone. We do not let anyone decide for us, we are not anyone’s puppets. We have chosen our own representatives for this negotiation and it is the RFEF. Our home is the RFEF, so we invite them (LPFF) to come here (to discuss terms).

Speaking about the LPFF’s offer for the referees, Huerta stated:

What the League offers is not even close to the minimum wage. We are sorry for all the inconveniences we have caused, but we have worked very hard and we could not continue in these conditions.

Huerta further reiterated the bad working conditions, pointing out that the players get paid even if they don’t play while the referees don’t. She further added that they have received words of support from the players.

When asked whether the referees will attend the Copa de la Reina matches, Marta Huerta responded by saying, “if we are designated and there is no agreement, we won’t be going to the games.”

Answering the questions about the timing of the ‘strike,’ the referees said they have been negotiating for two months but were been ignored by the league. They further accused the league of not being completely transparent and withholding information.

Speaking about their demands, Guadalupe Porras, another Spanish referee, said: “We ask for a sixth of what a First Division referee earns (300,000) and a third of what a Second Division referee earns.”

The head referees demand €50,000 per year.

There are 22 head referees who officiate an average of 10-12 games. The money would cover travel and training in addition to the salary costs.

The referees further refused to sit and discuss terms with the LPFF, claiming to have received complaints and threats from La Liga.


Following the press release by the referees, the CSD (The National Sports Council of Spain) summons the LPFF and the RFEF, at 5:00 p.m., in a meeting to “seek an urgent and permanent agreement.”


The CSD summons the LPFF and the RFEF to attend a meeting this afternoon, at 17.00h and at the headquarters of the Council, to seek an urgent and permanent agreement for a peaceful start of the women’s professional competition.

As a gesture of goodwill towards the negotiation, it would be desirable that the parties abandon their extreme positions, and that the women’s league withdraws the proposal to request disciplinary responsibilities and punitive measures against the referees for what happened this past weekend.

After meeting with RFEF, Beatriz Álvarez, president of Liga F, had this to say:


  • “I leave satisfied. Although we could have solved it on Thursday. We will meet tomorrow.”
  • “We start from points that we agree on, but we believe that it has to be gradual.”
  • “The tone has been friendly.”


  • Beatriz Álvarez is positive about matchday 2 being played.
  • The F League proposes 25,000 € per year, to be increased gradually, for the head referee.
  • At tomorrow’s meeting (at the RFEF), the final figures will be agreed.

The meeting will be at 11:00 am local time in the Ciudad del Fútbol de Las Rozas.

A preliminary meeting tonight revealed that the respective parties still remain a good distance away from an agreement.


  • The bids are still far from each other: the €50,000 that they ask for is negotiable, but the F League offers half (€25,000).
  • There is a will to reach an agreement, but reality does not invite optimism.

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