Madrid - A Spanish court said it would rule on Thursday whether footballers can legally push ahead with a strike which threatens to shut down the country's top league this weekend.
The National Court in Madrid made the announcement Wednesday after hearing arguments by lawyers for the AFE players' union and the league, which alleges the threatened strike is illegal.
The AFE has joined the RFEF federation, which controls referees, in threatening a stoppage to demand a bigger share of television broadcast revenues for smaller clubs.
Top players from Real Madrid and Barcelona have joined the protests demanding a bigger share of broadcast revenue be channelled to smaller clubs.
If the stoppage goes ahead it will halt the clash between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona on Sunday which could seal the championship for Barca.
It could also disrupt the last league matches on May 23 and the Copa del Rey final on May 30 between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.
In Wednesday's open hearing, lawyers for the two sides argued over whether the players had the right to go on strike against a new law that redistributes broadcast revenues from the lucrative Liga.
The head of the AFE Luis Rubiales said after Wednesday's hearing that he was confident the court would not block the strike.
"I am convinced this strike is legal," he told reporters outside the court.
"Our lawyer dismantled one by one all the points raised by the other party."
The chairman of the league, Javier Tebas, retorted: "I have always said the strike is illegal. Now it is up to the court to decide."
Rubiales said the union was "reaching out to meet with anyone we need to in order to resolve a serious problem".