The Spanish women’s national team was in crisis on Thursday night when Jorge Vilda declared that 15 players would not be selected as long as he remains head coach.
The players have written to the Spanish Federation (RFEF) claiming that the health and mental health of the coach, who was not sacked at the end of August, has affected them and that they do not intend to return until then. Found a solution.
Six Barcelona players, Manchester United’s Ona Butre and Lucía Garcia, and Manchester City’s Laia Aleisandri and Leila Uahavi, sent an email. Captain Irene Paredes and Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Pouteras were not among them, although the latter was ruled out for the next game in October due to injury.
The federation responded with a strongly worded statement, describing it as a situation “unprecedented in the history of football” and “going beyond sport to become a matter of dignity” and insisting it would not yield to pressure. The federation noted that refusal to play for the national team could result in a two- to five-year suspension, but will not call out the players involved until they “admit their mistakes and apologize”. The federation will send youth players as needed.
The letter arrived three weeks after the rebellion, in which members of the Spanish delegation expressed their dissatisfaction with Bilda to President Luis Rubiales. They then confronted Vilda as well, but he refused to resign. However, she admitted that “the captain representing the group communicated our feelings”.
Spain will play Ukraine on September 6th. On Friday, Barcelona’s Patri Guijaro, Mapi Leon, Aitana Bommati, Mariona Caldentei, Sandra Panoz, Andrea Pereira, Claudia Pina, Batje, Aleisandri, Uahabi, Ainoa Vicente, Lucia García and Laura Gallardo, Amayul Salighi and Nerea Eizagile. None of the Real Madrid players sent the email.
The Commonwealth refused to yield to that pressure, and the belligerent tone and language used in their response underlined that reconciliation would be very difficult. confirmed that it had received 15 letters, all of which were ‘coincidentally written in the same way’.
“The RFEF will not allow players to question the continuity of their coaches as it is not part of their role to make such decisions,” the statement vowed. “The federation will not accept any kind of pressure exerted by any player when making sporting decisions. This kind of ploy is against and damaging to football and sporting values.
“According to Spanish law, refusing to respond to a call from the national team is classified as a serious offense and can lead to a suspension of between two and five years. [But] The RFEF would like to clarify that it does not take the issue to such extremes or put pressure on the players in contrast to these player actions. Players who do not want to wear the Spanish jersey will not be called up.
“The RFEF calls only committed players, even if that means playing with young players. We need players that take pride in. Players who have resigned will only come back in the future if they admit their mistakes and apologize.”
Spain are scheduled to play Sweden on October 7 in Cordoba. Under Vilda, Spain reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2022, losing to England in extra time.