• Spain football strike ‘could cost 50m euros a day’

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    MADRID: Spain’s football league launched a lawsuit on Friday (Saturday in Manila) to block a strike threatened by players that it warned could cost 50 million euros ($56 million) per match day in lost revenues.

    Players from top teams, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, have threatened to boycott the last games of the season if the government does not renegotiate a reform of football broadcasting rights.

    It remained unclear how likely the stoppage was to go ahead and how the row might be resolved, as players’ representatives and the football federation raised various demands, some apparently not directly linked to the broadcast issue.

    But the professional football league, in charge of the superstar Primera Division, rejected calls to change the terms of the television reform and hurled recriminations at the federation.

    The federation and players threatened an open-ended strike from May 16, which could affect crucial end-of-season league games and the Spanish Cup finals this month.

    The president of the professional football league Javier Tebas filed a case on Friday at the National Court in Madrid against the AFE players’ union over the strike.

    He has lashed out in recent days at Spain’s football federation, the powerful body that governs the lower leagues and the national team.

    Tebas accuses its president Angel Maria Villar, who is also a vice-president of world governing body FIFA, of running the organization “like his private estate”.

    In an interview with AFP Friday, Tebas said the strike would breach Spanish labor law and collective bargaining agreements between the league and the union.

    The Liga in a statement urged the court to process the case “with the greatest possible urgency.”

    AFP

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