The majority of players on Spain’s World Cup-winning team refuse to play the upcoming matches amid the repercussions of an unwanted kiss

The majority of players on Spain’s World Cup-winning team refuse to play the upcoming matches amid the repercussions of an unwanted kiss



CNN

The vast majority of Spain’s World Cup-winning squad have said they will refuse to be called up for the next two UEFA Women’s Nations League matches, as it continues to push for “real structural changes” in football. Spanish footballAfter the fallout from the former football president Luis RubialesUnwanted kiss La Roja Star Jennifer Hermoso.

Nearly a month ago, Spain was rocked by the incident between former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) Rubiales and Hermoso, which cast a shadow over the team’s historic victory.

Spain was due to announce its squad for its next two matches on Friday but has now postponed the decision after 39 players, including 21 from the 23-woman World Cup squad, signed a joint letter condemning the Spanish Football Federation.

“As of today, as we have informed the Spanish Football Federation, the changes that have been made are not enough for players to feel in a safe place, where women are respected, women’s football is supported and where we can give everything we have.” The message said, which was to publish Written by two-time Ballon d’Or Féminin winner Alexia Putellas on X, formerly Twitter.

“We would like to conclude this statement by expressing that the players of the Spanish women’s national team are professional players, and what fills us most with pride is wearing the national team jersey and always taking our country to the highest levels.

“For this reason, we believe that this is the right moment to fight to show that these attitudes and practices have no place in football or in our society, that the current structure needs to change, and we are doing this so that future generations can have access to more equal football.” And the level we all deserve.”

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In the letter, the players set out a number of changes they would like to see within the Spanish Federation, including the restructuring of the women’s football organisation, the Office of the Presidency, the General Secretary, the Communications and Marketing Departments and the Integrity Department.

“As previously mentioned, we are detailing the changes required so that this type of situation does not happen again, with the goal of achieving absolute transparency,” the letter added.

FIFPRO, the global players’ federation Published on X In support of the players’ decision, he said: “FIFPRO fully supports the Spain Women’s National Team in their united call for change. #SeAcabó (It’s Over).”

Two-time NBA champion and Spanish basketball legend Pau Gasol also added his voice to the players, to publish“You have all my support.”

The latest development comes after more than 80 Spanish footballers – including all members of Spain’s 2023 World Cup squad – put their names to a letter supporting Hermoso on August 25, originally saying they would not return to the national team “if the current leaders continue”. . in their positions if there are no “real structural changes” in the union.

As a result, Spanish Federation interim president Pedro Rocha began taking steps as part of the federation’s “renewal”, sacking controversial coach Jorge Villeda despite Spain’s unprecedented World Cup win and appointing his deputy, Montse Tomé – the first woman to hold the presidency. Role. Rocha then pledged in a meeting with the president of the Supreme Sports Council, Victor Francos, to make more “structural changes” at the Spanish Football Federation.

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Announcing the players would leave Tommy struggling to field a competitive team against Sweden and Switzerland on September 22-26.

Thomas Cox/AFP via Getty Images

Rubiales leaves the National Court in Madrid on Friday.

This development comes after Rubiales testified in the Spanish National Court in Madrid on Friday morning after the judge summoned him to assist in the court’s investigation into possible charges of sexual assault and coercion against him.

Rubiales resigned from his position on Sunday after weeks of pressure from all segments of Spanish society, and has now been handed a restraining order and told not to come within 200 meters of Hermoso.

The dissatisfaction felt by Spanish players goes back as far as September last year, when 15 members of the women’s first team sent personally signed letters to the Spanish Football Federation via email declaring that they would no longer play for the national team unless there were sweeping changes. It was conducted throughout the coaching staff. .

The identical letters said the “situation” within the Spanish national team – of which the Spanish Football Federation was “aware” – was affecting the players’ “emotional state” and their health.

Of the 15 players who signed the letters, only three were in Spain’s World Cup squad: Mariona Caldente, Aitana Bonmati and Una Battle.

Despite the difficulties off the field, the young Spanish side had a magical World Cup run to defy the odds and claim a memorable title in Australia and New Zealand.

However, success on the pitch was accompanied by a tense atmosphere in the team and long-standing animosity between some of the country’s best players, the technical staff of Velda and the Spanish Football Federation.

Following the team’s victories over the Netherlands and Sweden in the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the World Cup, videos spread on social media of what appeared to be cold reactions from some of Spain’s substituted players towards Villeda and his staff, as well as during the post-match period. parties.

One of the clips showed Felda trying to celebrate with a few players after the victory over the Netherlands, but it seemed that he was ignored.

Now that Villeda and Rubiales have left their posts, the Spanish Football Federation had hoped to start a new chapter in women’s football, but Friday’s news shows there is still a lot of work to do.

Players’ demands for change will include the eventual replacement for Rocha, who was brought in following Rubiales’ departure.

But the Spanish Football Federation supports Rocha as president of the organization, as the federation seeks stability before considering any comprehensive changes demanded by the women’s national team players.

The Spanish Football Federation said on Friday that he would be asked to “establish ourselves first in order to advance later.”

“It is necessary to ensure the future of Spanish football by making transformations in a progressive way and restoring the dignity and credibility lost after the events of the World Cup,” the federation said in its press release.

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