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Spanish footballers' association in strike threat

The association of Spanish footballers (AFE) have threatened to go on strike later this month over unpaid wages, a move that would affect the top four league tiers in the country.

The AFE have left open the possibility of strike action between April 16-19, a weekend that includes Primera Division leaders Real Madrid hosting third-placed Valencia and Barcelona's derby with Espanyol.

At present, the AFE have decided to continue negotiating with the Spanish government's sports council (CSD), the Spanish football federation (RFEF) and professional football league (LNFP) in a bid to find a resolution to the demands of the players.

However, if an agreement is not reached then the AFE tonight announced plans for a strike by the players of the Primera, Segunda, Segunda B and Tercera Divisions, with the possibility of further action not being ruled out either.

AFE president Luis Manuel Rubiales, a former player at Levante, said: "Our rights, guarantees and salaries must not be begged for but demanded and the current situation is the most difficult of the last 20 years.

"We are sure that the AFE can achieve unity and solidarity in football, with firmness and generosity, whilst being open to dialogue."

He added: "We are aware that a strike is a not a positive measure, but neither is the situation faced by hundreds of footballers who have gone a year without taking home a wage.

"For this reason, there remains no other solution than to force what we believe is fair: the fulfilment of the agreements signed until last year."

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