Skip to main content

Spanish football strike bites as first weekend falls victim

Barcelona's defense of the Spanish league title must wait after a players' strike.
Barcelona's defense of the Spanish league title must wait after a players' strike.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Strike by Spanish players wipes out first weekend of fixtures in top two divisions
  • Talks between the Professional Football League and Players' Association break down
  • Strike is over pay guarantees for players who are unhappy about unpaid wages
  • Barcelona were due to begin defense of Spanish title at Malaga Saturday
RELATED TOPICS

(CNN) -- The first round of Spanish league season this weekend has been called off due to a strike by players from the top two divisions.

It means Barcelona's opening match at Malaga in their defense of their La Liga title will be postponed.

Arch-rivals Real Madrid were due to play Athletic Bilboa in their opener.

The two were involved in an explosive second leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday, won 3-2 by Barcelona and 5-4 on overall aggregate, but must now wait to begin their league campaigns.

Talks between the Professional Football League (LFP)) and the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) broke down Friday, both sides announced.

The LFP confirmed in a statement on its website that "the opening weekend of fixtures in the Liga BBVA and Liga Adelante, which was due to be played this weekend has been postponed."

An earlier posting had stated that the strike was "absolutely unjustified and futile", arguing that the two sides were in "80 percent agreement" over a deal.

But LFP chairman Jose Luis Astiazaran told AFP Friday: "We put on the table today our positions, which are very far apart, and we are concentrating now on being able to save the second day."

Talks will resume Saturday and Monday to attempt to salvage the second round of matches, but a prolonged strike would likely have serious implications in a crowded Spanish league season with Barcelona defending their Champions League crown as well as La Liga.

Barcelona refused comment on the strike when contacted by CNN Friday.