Women soccer players cross arms in protest during match

MADRID (AP) — Women soccer players in Spain crossed their arms for about 30 seconds at the beginning of a match on Sunday to demand the signing of the sport’s first collective agreement in the country.

The 22 players of Real Sociedad and Barcelona stood with their arms crossed after kick-off at the inaugural Spanish Super Cup final in the city of Salamanca.

Fans applauded the protest, which was joined by the bench players from both teams.

The deal for the collective agreement was struck in December but it hasn’t been made official yet.

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The women went on strike for a round of league matches in November over wages and working hours. Last week they threatened other “measures” if there was no progress.

The delay has been mostly due to unresolved details concerning television rights.

Women’s soccer has grown rapidly in Spain since the 2015 World Cup, when the country made its first appearance in the showcase tournament. Calls for greater equality for men and women in the sport have increased significantly since then.

Barcelona won the Spanish Super Cup final 10-1.

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