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Spanish Football League to take legal action over players' strike

Madrid: The Spanish Football League (LFP) announced on Friday that it was taking legal action against the Spanish Footballers' Association in the wake of the players' decision to call a strike from May 16.

The strike, which coincides with the one called by the Spanish Football Federation from the same date, is related to their dissatisfaction with a recent decree passed by the Spanish government to permit collective sale of television rights, reports Xinhua.

Luis Rubiales, the president of the players' association, assured that the union was in favour of collective television rights but that they wanted a fairer split in the way the money was divided between La Liga and second division football clubs.

He said the union was also worried by the disappearance of the minimum wage of footballers and by a clause which apparently gives the LFP arbitrary disciplinary rights.

The strike could spell chaos for Spanish football with two games left to be played in the La Liga, as well as the King's Cup final. All captains of Spain's top clubs have lent their support to Rubiales saying they are open to negotiations.

However, for the moment the LFP does not appear to be interested in negotiations as it issued a communique insisting the 'objectives' of the strike were 'illegal'.

"They are asking the modification of a part of the law and those modifications cannot be the objective of a strike in the private sector, as the law makes clear," said the communique, which states the players are "clearly breaking," the collective agreement between LFP and the footballers' association.

"If the strike is declared illegal then we will proceed to seek damages and the clubs will be able to apply the disciplinary measures they find convenient," LFP said.

"The damages are terrible and important, people have shown how worried they are, even from as far away as China, about the consequences for our sponsors," Javier Tebas, LFP president, said.

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