Spanish soccer strike goes on, latest talks fail

Spanish soccer strike goes on, latest talks fail

Published Aug. 20, 2011 8:16 p.m. ET

The start of the Spanish league remained in limbo after talks to end the players' strike failed on Saturday.

The Association of Spanish Football Players (AFE) president Luis Rubiales said after the meeting with Spanish league officials that the two sides were still far from reaching a deal. The strike prevented the first round of league play from starting this weekend.

''The positions are far apart and it is impossible to solve things in one day,'' Rubiales, a former Levante defender, told Spanish radio Marca. ''The next two or three days are going to serve to study the options and from there look for solutions.

''Right now we have a strike on and if this situation is not resolved we won't play.''


Spanish club players representing all 42 teams in the top two divisions began the first work stoppage in 27 years on Friday in their demand for improved salary guarantees and the payment of $72 million clubs owe in unpaid salaries to more than 200 players.

The Spanish league said it will meet the AFE again as scheduled on Monday to ''continue the open dialogue to try and unblock the situation of the strike called by the AFE.''

The AFE has said it plans to extend the strike to the second round next weekend if a deal is not reached.

The league wouldn't begin until Sept. 10 under such a scenario. The league has not announced if the games scheduled for the first week would be played then or if the calendar would be reshuffled.

While most squads are honoring the strike and won't return to practice until late Monday or Tuesday, clubs involved in European competition trained, with Athletic Bilbao, Villarreal and Sevilla facing Europa League matches next week.

Atletico Madrid, also with an upcoming Europa League date, will have a double training session on Sunday after not practicing on Saturday. Real Madrid's and Getafe's players attended practices.

Barcelona's exhibition against Napoli on Monday also will go ahead.