SportsMLS Referees End Lockout, Agree Historic Seven-Year Deal

MLS Referees End Lockout, Agree Historic Seven-Year Deal

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March 26, (THEWILL) – Major League Soccer referees are set to officiate matches again starting this weekend after ratifying a new seven-year collective bargaining agreement.

The deal with the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) ends a month-long lockout that forced the league to use replacement officials for the first few weeks of the 2024 season. The historic seven-year labour contract between PRO and the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA) runs through 2030, making it the longest such agreement for match officials in MLS history.

It resolves an impasse that began in mid-February when the PSRA rejected PRO’s initial proposal over issues with compensation, benefits, travel scheduling and quality-of-life matters.

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With the lockout now over, MLS Executive Vice President, Nelson Rodriguez, welcomed the referees’ return, stating: “We look forward to having the PRO match officials back this weekend, and we thank MLS players, coaches and clubs for their professionalism, and our fans for their support throughout the opening month.”

The timing allows the league’s primary referees to oversee upcoming marquee matches, including those featuring high-profile signing Lionel Messi, who is presently nursing an injury, and his Inter Miami team. Both PRO and the PSRA lauded the new labour deal as a pivotal agreement providing stability for years to come.

About the Author

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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.

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Jude Obafemi, THEWILLhttps://thewillnews.com
Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.

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