The dispute between the Spanish soccer world champions and the national association RFEF was finally resolved shortly before the first competitive game.
During negotiations that lasted six hours and dragged on until early Wednesday morning, a number of agreements were reached, the president of the top Spanish sports authority CSD, Víctor Francos, told journalists. In the evening, the RFEF announced that it had relieved General Secretary Andreu Camps of his duties.
Reforms should take effect immediately
The players around world footballer Alexia Putellas had demanded several personnel and structural changes at the RFEF and called for an international boycott to emphasize their demands. They have now been promised that the required reforms “immediately” should be realized, informed Franco. 21 of the 23 professionals nominated for the Nations League games were then convinced to play.
The two players who, after the negotiations, wanted to leave the training camp in Oliva in the Valencia region despite the agreement before the Nations League games against World Cup third-placed Sweden (Friday 6:30 p.m.) and against Switzerland (Tuesday 9 p.m.) would will not be punished, assured Francos.
They were Patricia Guijarro and Mapi León. “Mentally we are not able to stay here”said midfielder Guijarro, who plays for FC Barcelona. However, her club colleague León emphasized: “We are of course happy that there will be changes and that they will be set out in writing.“
Patricia Guijarro and Mapi León are still not competing
Guijarro and León were among the 15 players who resigned from the team last September in protest against the work of the RFEF and national coach Jorge Vilda.Selection” declared and did not take part in the World Cup. The RFEF still stood by Vilda at the time, but after the World Cup, in the wake of association president Luis Rubiales’ assault on player Jennifer Hermoso, they separated from the coach, who was replaced by Montse Tomé.
“It is not a happy ending, but the happy beginning of a path that should lead to a renewed association and to players who feel comfortable and enjoy playing and winning.”, explained Culture and Sports Minister Miquel Iceta. There will be elections at the RFEF at the beginning of 2024, said Iceta, who also promised several dismissals.
The government is also at the table
There were discussions between CSD, the players and association and union representatives “deep changes” agreed, which the RFEF will announce shortly, said Francos. The sporting future of the new national coach Tomé, who is considered Rubiales’ confidante, was not an issue.
On Monday, Tomé called up 15 world champions for the Nations League, even though these athletes, along with other colleagues, had announced their strike days ago. After the association threatened severe fines and long-term bans, the players started the journey to the training camp on Tuesday despite their resistance.
Jennifer Hermoso has filed a complaint
At the award ceremony after Spain’s final triumph over England (1-0) on August 20th in Sydney, Rubiales kissed world champion Hermoso on the mouth. By mutual consent, he assured. However, Hermoso vehemently denied this.
The 33-year-old also filed a complaint, which enabled the public prosecutor to file a criminal complaint with the State Court. Hermoso was not nominated by Tomé for the time being. You want the player like that “to protect”said the trainer.
Xavi Alonso is there World champions at
Coach Xabi Alonso from Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen supports the footballers in his native Spain in the fight against the association. “My daughters will remember in the future what these women fought for. What they fight for is good for football. But also for society. Football is important, but society is more important. Football is just one game. That’s why everything that’s happening at the moment can only be the first step. But it’s an important step.”said the coach on Wednesday (September 20th, 2023).
Alonso named the events in the association “shameful”: He is sorry for what the players had to experience. “They became world champions, people should have talked about their success. But sometimes good things can come from bad things if you fight for the right cause. The players are fighting for their rights and they are absolutely on the right path.”said the world and European champion.