fifteen Spanish internationals rebel against their coach


Fifteen players from La Roja refuse to wear the Spanish jersey as long as Jorge Vilda is in office.

La Roja feminine in crisis: fifteen Spanish internationals announced on Thursday that they were giving up wearing the famous red jersey as long as the current coach Jorge Vilda, in whom the Spanish Federation has renewed its confidence, will remain in office.

It was in a press release that fell around 11:00 p.m. Thursday evening that the Spanish Football Federation revealed the extent of this crisis.

She indicates that fifteen players have sent an email where each explains that the current situation affects « their emotional state » and « their health » in a « significant way », and that they give up the selection, « as long as the situation is not not repaired”.

The RFEF added that it « will not allow the players to question the situation of the national coach and the coaching staff, because making this decision does not fall within the scope of their competence ».

A new episode in a story that has already been going on for several weeks, and which comes a few days before the next friendly matches of the female Roja, eliminated in the quarter-finals of the last Euro by England (2-1 ap), against Sweden on October 7 and against the United States on October 11.

At the last rally, in September, three executives Irene Paredes, Patri Guijarro and Jenni Hermoso explained to the leaders of the federation that they were no longer in agreement with Vilda’s methods.

The three players had called a press conference and had recognized a « general malaise » by questioning Vilda, in office since 2015, but had denied having asked for her resignation.

The coach who succeeded Ignacio Quereda, landed under pressure from players after a failed 2015 World Cup, had for his part declared to have been « hurt by the way of proceeding », claiming to be a person « who favors dialogue and who is always willing to talk.

« Rebellion »

“Rebellion”, headlined the Spanish sports daily As this Friday, while its competitor Marca, the best-selling newspaper in Spain, posted on its front page: “Blackmail is unacceptable”.

According to the Spanish media, among the three executives who called a press conference in September, only Patri Guijarro is among the fifteen players who gave up the selection.

The captain and Ballon d’Or 2021 Alexia Putellas, operated on the anterior cruciate ligament of her left knee in mid-July, does not appear in this list of fifteen players, nor Irene Paredes and Jenni Hermoso, both also injured and unavailable for the rally coming.

According to the press, the fifteen “rebels” are Ainhoa ​​Moraza, Lucía García, Leila Ouahabi, Mapi León, Claudia Pina, Laia Aleixandri, Ona Batlle, Andrea Pereira, Aitana Bonmatí, Sandra Paños, Amaiur Sarriegi, Lola Gallardo, Nerea Eizaguirre, Mariona Caldentey and Patri Guijarro.

No Real Madrid player appears in this list. Six of these fifteen players play for FC Barcelona.

American superstar Megan Rapinoe, Ballon d’Or in 2019, gave her support to the fifteen Spanish rebels. « A sixteenth player stands by your side in the United States, » wrote the American international on her Instagram account, followed by 2.2 million people.

« This is very serious »

« It’s very, very serious, it had never happened before, so we didn’t expect it, » reacted the director of women’s football within the Spanish federation, Ana Alvares, on Onda Cero radio in Thursday night through Friday. “It is so serious that they have exceeded a certain limit,” she added.

« It is shameful. They should reconsider their decision. Spanish football was gaining a vital and unique place in Europe. We cannot endorse this kind of situation, ”added the president of the Superior Council of Sports (equivalent to the Spanish Ministry of Sports) José Manuel Franco, on Cadena Cope radio.

“It is necessary to establish a dialogue and for the two parties to sit down to negotiate,” he added.

In its press release, the federation specifies that the players can be sanctioned if they do not honor a selection, but argues that it “will not go to this extreme, and will not put any pressure on them”.

But, warns the RFEF less than a year from the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the players « can only return to the selection if they accept their mistake and if they ask for forgiveness ».

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