The referees speak: "We do not receive orders from anyone, we are not puppets of the RFEF"

The arbitration group has appeared this afternoon in Las Rozas in a long-awaited press conference in which they have explained their position regarding the indefinite strike that they are carrying out in the F League, the highest category of women's football that this season will be professional for First time in history.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
12 September 2022 Monday 07:34
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The referees speak: "We do not receive orders from anyone, we are not puppets of the RFEF"

The arbitration group has appeared this afternoon in Las Rozas in a long-awaited press conference in which they have explained their position regarding the indefinite strike that they are carrying out in the F League, the highest category of women's football that this season will be professional for First time in history. The referees claim that they are the only agent that has been excluded from this professionalization and ask for salary and contractual improvements in accordance with this new status.

For three quarters of an hour, several representatives of the referees, as well as Yolanda Parga, the head of women's arbitration at the CTA, have appeared before the media and have answered the questions of the journalists in an extensive and tense press conference. “Referees are characterized by our independence. We do not receive orders from anyone and it is intolerable that the League accuses us of being manipulated by the Federation because we are not puppets”, Marta Huerta de Aza asserted.

In this climate, the referees have also confirmed their rejection of the invitation received yesterday by the Professional Women's Soccer League (LPFF) to meet directly with them at the CSD headquarters this afternoon. “Do you think we are going to sit down with someone who is denouncing us and who has been threatening us all week?”, also the referee, Marta Frías Acedo, snapped. Huerta de Aza explained that, in addition, "it is illegal" to meet directly with the LPFF: "We belong to the Federation, we cannot sit down with them, it is illegal and we are international referees. We could receive an international sanction.”

The referee from Palencia, one of the best in Spain, lamented the criticism received this weekend: "We have been accused of many things, I have seen many headlines of 'shame, ridiculous...'. Shameful and ridiculous is that we have to be today claiming minimum conditions. It has been repeated a lot that the players are the most affected and they are getting paid. We, without arbitrating, do not charge."

Waiting for how the LPFF reacts to the public refusal of the referees to sit down to negotiate "without intermediaries" with them, the collegiate members have confirmed that if an agreement is not reached in the next few hours, they will not referee the Cup matches either. of the Queen that begins this Tuesday. “Working conditions are the same. Those that apply when we sign the contract will also apply to the Copa de la Reina, just as it happens with men's football, and until we have these guaranteed conditions, we will not arbitrate", said Porras Ayuso.

Yolanda Parga, responsible for women's arbitration at the CTA, has also summarized how these negotiations between the Federation and the F League, which started on June 27, have developed, she explained. In these two months she has explained that the RFEF proposal has been reduced until reaching the last meeting, last Friday, in which they launched "a minimum proposal, to try to unblock the situation". This proposal consists of about 50,000 euros per year for the main referees (including all their expenses), "one sixth of what is charged in the men's First Division" (300,000 euros), the referees have specified. According to Parga, the position of the LPFF has always been the same, offering 3,300 euros per game, something insufficient for the arbitration group. "The League's proposal is not even close to the minimum wage in Spain," she argues.

Beyond the quantities, they also differ in how. While the LPFF wants to negotiate, on the one hand, the salaries of the referees, directly with them, and on the other, the rest of the derived expenses such as travel, material... with the Federation; the RFEF and the collegiate maintain that it must be done jointly through a "single receipt".

Now it is the turn of League F to make a move. Parga assures that the Federation is "totally open" to meeting. “On our part there is no blockade, we want to move this forward”, he stated, but: “That they do not continue with the 3,300 because if we have told them no three times, we will continue saying no”, Porras Ayuso pointed out.

Shortly after the appearance of the collegiate members, the CSD has issued a statement citing the LPFF and RFEF to a meeting at its headquarters at 5:00 p.m. "to seek an urgent and permanent agreement for a peaceful beginning of the women's professional competition" . "As a goodwill gesture for the negotiation, it would be desirable for the parties to abandon their maximalist positions and for the women's league to withdraw the proposal to request disciplinary responsibilities and sanctioning measures against the referees for what happened this past weekend", add in the text.

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