Spain’s women’s football team is on the verge of mutiny, with 15 players threatening to quit if coach Jorge Vilda is not sacked by the nation’s FA.
- Manager Vilda under pressure
- Squad wants change
- RFEF will not bow to demands
WHAT HAPPENED? A number of star turns for La Roja have lost faith in the country’s managerial team, with concerns reportedly raised regarding the atmosphere in the locker room, team selection and training sessions. The RFEF has acknowledged the strong feelings of those concerned, but is eager to point out that player power will not be allowed to dictate important decisions and that those involved face being removed from consideration for selection.
WHAT THEY SAID: A statement from the RFEF reads: “The Real Federación Espanola de Futbol communicates that, throughout today, it has received 15 emails from 15 players of the women’s senior football team, coincidentally all with the same wording, in which they state that the current situation generated affects ‘significantly’ their ’emotional state’ and their ‘health’ and that, ‘as long as it is not reversed’, they resign from the Spanish national team.
“The RFEF is not going to allow the players to question the continuity of the national coach and his coaching staff, since making those decisions does not fall within their powers. The Federation will not admit any type of pressure from any player when adopting sports measures. These types of maneuvers are far from exemplary and outside the values of football and sport and are harmful.
“In accordance with current Spanish legislation, not attending a national team call is classified as a very serious infraction and can carry sanctions of between two and five years of disqualification. The RFEF, contrary to the way these players act, wants to make it clear that it will not take them to this extreme or pressure them. Directly, it will not summon the soccer players who do not want to wear the Spain shirt. The Federation will only have committed footballers even if they have to play with youth.
“This fact has gone from being a sporting issue to a dignity issue. The selection is non-negotiable. It is an unprecedented situation in the history of football, both male and female, in Spain and worldwide.
“The national team needs players committed to the project, defending our colors and proud to wear the Spain shirt. The players who have submitted their resignation will only return to the discipline of the national team in the future if they accept their mistake and ask for forgiveness.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Spain have booked their place at the 2023 Women’s World Cup after taking maximum points from their eight qualification fixtures and boasting the likes of Ballon d’Or Feminin winner Alexia Putellas within their ranks.
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WHAT NEXT FOR SPAIN? La Roja will be back in action during October when taking in friendly dates with Sweden and the USWNT.