Home World The Spanish women’s soccer team is heard after Luis Rubiales kisses

The Spanish women’s soccer team is heard after Luis Rubiales kisses

The Spanish women’s soccer team is heard after Luis Rubiales kisses

An unwanted kiss turned Spain’s World Cup victory into an uncomfortable public account.

But the Spanish women’s team is making the most of the moment, capitalizing on the growing interest in their team to fuel a years-long campaign for change in how women’s football is run in the country.

Spanish players have spent years calling attention to what they say is a pattern of poor management, sexism and a lack of ambition in the women’s programme, but they have been largely ignored.

The question now is: With the World Cup and the world’s interest in it, will there be any change?

In the days after RFEF president Luis Rubiales caught and kissed midfielder Gini Hermoso, the country’s football establishment largely ignored calls for a change until Monday, when the RFEF issued a statement calling for Rubiales to resign “immediately”. .

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Rubiales refused to step down, giving a defiant speech in which he claimed the kiss was “consensual” and blamed “pseudo-feminism” for his predicament.

Danai Boronat, a journalist and author of a Spanish-language book on women’s football, said the kiss was just the tip of the iceberg, and that Rubiales’ reaction escalated calls for his ouster.

“If Rubiales sincerely apologizes to Hermoso and the rest of the players the next day and says he will listen to the players’ demands and try to understand their demands in every field, … if this is the solution,” Boronat said. message, the conflict is over. Players appreciate Al Ittihad’s gestures.”

All 23 Members of the World Cup winning team have said they will not play for the national team as long as the administration continues The union remains the same. And if Spain is complete, it will be among the favorites to win the Summer Olympics in Paris next year. In a statement signed by dozens of players, they said they “expect a strong response from the public authorities so that these actions do not go unpunished” and called for “real structural changes that would help the national team continue to grow”.

“It saddens us that such an unacceptable incident tarnishes the greatest sporting achievement of Spanish women’s football,” the players wrote.

This is not the first time that Spanish players have clashed with the Spanish Football Federation.

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In 2015, the players demanded the resignation of Ignacio Quereda, the team’s coach of 27 years, following their early exit from the World Cup, and later accused Quereda of sexism and abuse. Quereda was replaced by current coach and sporting director, Jorge Vilda, but some of the same structural problems remained.

After losing to England in the quarter-finals of Euro 2022, the Spanish players pressured the federation to take women’s football seriously. Porunat said the players wanted to take women’s football to the elite level but needed more support, including physiotherapists and nutritionists.

The players were also unhappy with Filda, who some described as a symbol of Spain’s indifference to women’s football. Boronat said that some players considered him unfit to coach a team of this level. Others complained that he was controlling.

When the Spanish Football Federation did not respond to their concerns, a group of 15 players individually emailed the federation to say that the team’s conditions were negatively affecting their health and requested that they not be called up until the situation was resolved.

The Spanish Football Federation rejected their demands and criticized them. The federation warned that “the players who resigned will not return to the national team in the future unless they admit their mistake and apologize.”

When it came time to select a World Cup team, only three out of the 15 players who complained to the Spanish Football Federation were called up.

Barcelona star Aitana Bonmati, who formed the team, addressed the issue in an article for the Players’ Tribune at the start of the World Cup in July, writing: “I felt the RFEF needed to invest more in us”.

“Some changes have to be made if we want to win big tournaments. What do we want to do, otherwise what’s the point?

And some of the players’ demands were finally met. But the frustration boiled over when Rubiales — whose actions were caught on camera — delivered his brash and unapologetic speech.

“This speech opened a wound for all of us,” said Ferro Boquete, a Spanish player who for years was excluded from the national team after leading Querida’s protests, in an interview with Spain’s Neutral magazine.

Boquete said Rubiales’ failure to take responsibility was infuriating. What made it worse, she said, was that other members of the Spanish Football Federation and staff were laughing and clapping.

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After the speech, more than a hundred players of different generations gathered on WhatsApp to approve tweets and statements calling for reform of the federation’s leadership before they returned to the field.

They gather under the hashtag “Se acabó” or “It’s over”.

But it remains to be seen if Rubiales will lose his job.

Boronat, who has been covering women’s football for years, said it would be difficult for the federation to do nothing, especially as Spanish society finally seems to be getting tired of the disrespect for female players.

“There is no way back,” Poronat said. “They are not going to stop this from happening, especially after so many players said ‘enough’.” Spanish society will no longer tolerate disrespect and contempt towards female footballers.”

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