The coronavirus has stopped almost completely the world of sport. Competitions and tournaments are postponed or cancelled, athletes working in their homes as they can… Under this scenario, the women’s soccer it is not an exception. In Spainthe First Iberdrola continues to stop without knowing the date on which you will be able to resume the championship, while the Euro has been postponed to the summer of 2022.
Now open up many unknowns in regard to women’s football. After having lived in the last year and a half, an explosion not only in our country or in the Old Continent, but also in the rest of the world, begin to appear the first doubts about the future that awaits him in a sport on the rise and with women as main protagonists.
Past 2019, the World held in France was a spectacular boost to women’s football. The looks of all the planet they landed on figures as of Marta, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Kosovare Asllani or also in Jenni Beautiful, Irene Walls or Nahikari. It is for this reason that the decision of the deferment of a year of the Euro implies a halt to their expansion.
This break forced by the Covid-19 it has also highlighted the importance of the signature of the collective agreement women’s football in Spain. More than a year of negotiations, a strike and the shadow that was planned to the beginning of 2020 because of not reaching the desired agreement between the parties. It was in February when it signed a convention which has provided security to the players in uncertain times.
THE SPANISH was able to talk with María José López, co-director of the legal department of AFEon the pitch real football Spanish female in these times. A situation that could have presented great complexities for the players not to have signed the convention, because with the current scenario would have been more difficult still to have reached an agreement.
The ERTEs in football
From AFE, they make it clear that closed the collective agreement and that this “is in force”, highlighting that “it is not the same to close a deal in a situation without or with a pandemic, change the movie”. In these last days the word ERTE it has become more familiar to all and thanks to the agreement, the footballers have a livelihood to hold on according to law.
“The convention must comply with it. If a club announces a ERTE, will be in accordance with the convention. For example, a club announces a ERTE and requested the suspension of the contract, the players have to be clear that they are exonerated from any type of activity. If there is suspension of contract and training, we would be faced with a situation of fraud,” says María José López.
Teams like the Logroño, Barcelona or Atletico Madrid they have raised the reduction of the working day. Here the wages are paid between clubs and the State, depending on how it is that reduction. The own players are in a situation of uncertainty and come to AFE to be counseled: “We are having a lot of contact with the players”.
At this point there is a key piece of information. “You have to be very clear that if there is a reduction of the working day is because it is carried out a FATE, not because he comes to an agreement with the club because it gives me the win. It is important that you are well informed and well advised”, explains María José López.
Fight for equality
The consequences that can bring the crisis of the coronavirus are unpredictable and also affect the women’s football. Although the income of the clubs does not directly depend on the box office, it does come from the image rights or grants, for this reason, from AFE they point out that they will have to “measure” everything and “be responsible” in the new situation.
The question that stands here is what would be the situation of the players not to have signed the convention: “For many players is a change. Verily, it is not the same to collect the unemployment in a percentage in another. The convention has come to contextualize a league that was not professional, to regularize all of these professional activities. He gives them some guarantees, a defense of collective rights, this is important. You can criticize this convention, but what has is that it upholds the general interest of all”.
“It is a fundamental instrument. What is clear is that this convention, after a year and a half, if we had not signed before the State of Alarm, now we would be in a much worse situation. If the big clubs were thought to have a mattress and look at what is going on, imagine in the smaller”, adds María José López.
One of the hot spots of the collective agreement of women’s football in spain was the bias. Bias now becomes important: “it Has been a great fight. This has been at the end of the 75 %, but imagine a bias of 50 %, is insufficient. For example, there is a very positive one. Whenever you can make positive things there are to do them.”
Uncertainty about the future
It is unknown when he will play again. From AFE claim that they are “very aware” of doctors, specialists,… to know when you will return to a relative normality, although they recognize that the return of the competition “yes that is absolutely subject to the appointment of the government authorities”. “We would like to finish the league, yes, but it is a matter of public health”, point.
At the idea of being able to finish the competition closed, that is to say without an audience in the stands, Jose Maria Lopez not ruled out: “it Is a government measure. Us from AFE will comply with what you tell the authorities, but I doubt, I doubt very much, that the return to competition means stadiums full.” We have to wait and that when I return the women’s football, will continue to support and visibilizando at least as in the last year.
[Más información: Peláez, matrona y árbitra de fútbol: “No estábamos equipados para luchar contra el coronavirus”]