Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh made to wait for their Barcelona debuts

Lionesses star duo Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh are made to wait to make their Barcelona debuts after clash with Levante is postponed due to referee strikes in Spanish women’s top flight over pay and working conditions

  • Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh both joined Barcelona this summer from Man City
  • Both were influential in the Lionesses’ winning the women’s Euro this summer
  • The pair set to make their debuts on Sunday but due to strikes not able to do so 
  • Barcelona are widely considered one of the best teams in the women’s game 

Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh will have to wait a little longer for their Barcelona debuts after referee strikes in Spain postponed fixtures across the women’s top flight. 

The two England internationals joined from Manchester City this summer having guided the Lionesses to their maiden tournament victory.

Barcelona were due to play Levante on Sunday evening with all seven of the other fixtures having already been abandoned. 

Lucy Bronze (pictured) and Keira Walsh had been hoping to make their competitive debuts

An unprecedented situation has been fostered whereby the players must still turn up to the ground, go through their rigorous warm up routines and then line up for the game in the full knowledge it will be abandoned due to their being no officials present.   

Atletico Madrid posted photos of their players warming up prior to their abandoned match against Real Sociedad.

Spain’s female referees are currently striking over pay and working conditions, with a statement being released on Thursday evening detailing the reasons for their action. 

It appears as though it will have to wait a little longer owing to strike action by the Spanish female referees

Posts from the likes of Atletico only added to the sense of confusion over strikes this weekend

They said they had ‘taken the decision to not work any matches of the women’s first division under the present working and economic conditions.’

This season marks the first fully professional league campaign in the Spanish women’s top flight with attendances last season, particularly at Barcelona, displaying the verve people have for the female game in the country. 

A modern record attendance for the women’s game was recorded when Barcelona played Real Madrid at the Nou Camp last season. 

However, the referees argue that they have not been included in this advancement, saying that their present working conditions and pay do not reflect this move to full professionalism for the players. 

Barcelona had been due to start their title defence away at Levante on Sunday afternoon

‘We want to get back on the field, but under the appropriate conditions,’ their statement read. 

They say the £280 referees earn for a game, and the £140 assistants earn, is not enough and must be increased. 

The Spanish league responded in due course, threatening legal action should the strikes go ahead. 

Barcelona’s first game of the season was due to kick off at 5pm on Sunday.  




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