Spanish women’s football players and federation in standoff


15 of Spain’s best female footballers have written a letter asking not to be called up to the national team, saying the way their coaches train is damaging their emotional state and health.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said in a statement on Thursday that it had received 15 emails from 15 players asking not to be selected, citing players and national team coach Jorge Verda and its staff have problems.

The Football Association said it was an “unprecedented situation in the history of football in Spain and around the world, for men and women.”

According to the league, the players said in the letter that “the current situation” has severely impacted their “emotional state and health.”

Spanish football star Alexia Putras took to social media on Friday to dispute the RFEF’s description of the player’s resignation.

“Under no circumstances have we resigned from the Spanish national team as the RFEF stated in the official statement. As we said in our private emails, we have maintained, continue to maintain and will continue to maintain The unquestionable commitment of the Spanish national team,” said the 2021 Ballon d’Or winner.

“That’s why we asked in our letter to RFEF not to be called up to the national team until it has rectified a situation that could have affected our mental and personal health, our performance and therefore the outcome of the national team that could lead to unintended injuries. The reason we made this decision.”

Spain coach Jorge Vilda before the quarter-finals of the Euro 2022 Women's Euro 2022 match between England and Spain.

Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, said the players were unhappy with the management of the injury, the atmosphere in the locker room, Virda’s team choices and his training sessions.

Two-time World Cup champion and U.S. women’s national team star Megan Rapinoe posted a story in support of the players on Instagram Thursday night, saying: “You finished 16th. [player] stand with you [US flag emoji] So many players come together like this, it’s too powerful. We should all listen. ”

RFEF appears to be standing next to the coach. The Football Association said it would not “allow players to question the continuity of the national team coach and his coaching staff, as it is not within their purview to make those decisions.”

“The federation will not acknowledge pressure of any kind from any player when it comes to sporting measures. These types of actions are far from exemplary, go beyond the values ​​of football and sport and are harmful,” it added.

The RFEF said players would not be allowed to return to the national team unless they “accepted the mistake and asked for forgiveness”.

In her statement, Putras disagreed with RFEF’s assertion that the players demanded changes to the national team’s coaching staff.

“We have never called for the dismissal of the coach as reported,” the two-time FIFA Women’s Player of the Year winner wrote.

“We understand that our job is not to dictate that position under any circumstances, but we can constructively and honestly express what we think will improve the team’s performance,” she said.

Uprising is a high-risk move for the player. The federation said the refusal to be called up to the national team was classified as a “very serious breach that could result in a two- and five-year disqualification penalty”.


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