Spain: Fifteen players rebel against their coach, Jorge Vilda

La Roja Feminine is in crisis. Fifteen Spanish internationals announced on Thursday that they would give up wearing the famous red jersey as long as current coach Jorge Vilda, to whom the Spanish Federation has renewed its confidence, remains in office. It was in a press release that fell around 11 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“of”in an important way“, and forfeit the selection, “until the situation is rectified“. The RFEF added that it does not”the players will not question the situation of the national coach and the management, because making this decision does not fall within the scope of their competence“.


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

The three players had called a press conference and recognized a “general malaise” by questioning Vilda, in office since 2015, but had not denied having asked for his 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 it’s done“, claiming to be a person”who favors dialogue and who is always willing to talk“.

With the support of Rapinoe

“Rebellion”, a title this Friday the Spanish sports daily ASwhile its competitor Mark posted on its front page: “Singing 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. Captain and Ballon d’Or 2021 Alexia Putellas, activated from 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, has distributed her support to the fifteen Spanish rebels. “A sixteenth player stands by your side in the United States“, writes the American international on her Instagram account, followed by 2.2 million people.”It’s very, very serious, it had never happened before, so we did not expect it“, reacted the director of women’s football within the Spanish federation, Ana Alvares, on Onda Cero radio on the night of Thursday to Friday. “It’s so bad 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 condone such situations.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 that the two parties come together to negotiate.”

In its press release, the federation specifies that the players can be sanctioned if they do not honor a selection, but argues that it “won’t go to that extreme, and won’t pressure them“. But, warns the RFEF less than a year from the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the players “will be able to return to selection only if they assume their mistake and if they ask for forgiveness“.

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