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Sports

Court suspends Spanish football strike

Spain's top footballers have seen their planned strike suspended by a High Court ruling, but it is still unclear as to whether or not the final two sets of La Liga fixtures this season will go ahead.

A Spanish court on Thursday ruled against a planned strike by Spain's top footballers, which had the blessing of the country's RFEF football federation. The AFE players' union and the RFEF were protesting new rules on the spread of league revenues, but the LFP league administrators lodged a legal appeal, successfully, against the strike.

The court ruled that allowing the strike to go ahead would "prevent the conclusion of the championship" and would "cause a serious organizational disorder". The league had warned that a stoppage could cost 50 million euros ($56 million) per matchday in lost revenue.

However, it remains unclear whether or not the final two matchdays of Spain's top-flight will be played because the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) has said it will suspend competition indefinitely from Saturday.

Clash over cash

Two weeks ago, the LFP, together with the football federation (RFEF) announced the strike would begin on May 16, after a dispute with the clubs and government about the distribution of revenue from televsion rights and pools.

The new TV law, approved last month and originally backed by the LFP, would replace the current system under which rights are marketed by individual clubs, unique among Europe's top leagues where collective bargaining is normally used. The aim is to share the money out between teams from the 2016-17 season onwards, going some way to evening out the financial return Real Madrid and Barcelona have largely profited from.

Both Gerard Pique of Barcelona and Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid have publicly voiced their approval of the strike.

Barcelona just are four points above Real Madrid going into the final two fixtures, leaving the Catalonian club just one victory away from clinching their 23rd La Liga title.

jh/msh (dpa, Reuters, AP)

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