IFollowing a kissing scandal involving association president Luis Rubiales, who has since resigned, Spanish women’s football is falling deeper and deeper into chaos. World champion Jennifer Hermoso accused the national association RFEF of “dividing” and “manipulating” “to intimidate us and threaten us with legal consequences and economic sanctions,” as she wrote early Tuesday morning on Portal X (formerly Twitter). It’s ice time after the association called up striking players for Monday’s upcoming international matches against their will.
Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips, without even being asked, at the medal ceremony after Spain’s final triumph over England in Sydney on August 20, causing huge outrage around the world. He further claims that the kiss immediately after winning the World Cup was mutually consensual. Hermoso contradicts this.
“We spent weeks, months looking for protection that we could not find in the RFEF itself. The same people who ask for our trust today publish a list of players who asked not to call them,” Hermoso criticized.
Arbitration Attempt Announced
But the government is also putting pressure on footballers: “If the players are not competing, sorry, the government will have to act and enforce the law,” Victor Francos told radio station El Larguero late Monday.
Francos is the president of Spain’s top sporting body, the CSD, and announced negotiations and a mediation attempt. If this fails, there will be even greater trouble. According to Spanish sports law, refusing to compete despite being nominated is a particularly serious offense that can result in a fine of between 3,000 and 30,000 euros and a ban of 2 to 15 years.
Keep the pressure higher
Spain wants to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics through the Nations League. On Monday, new national team coach Montse Thome named 15 world champions for the first two games of the tournament on Friday in Sweden and next Tuesday at home against Switzerland. Thome replaced Jorge Vilda, who was sacked after the World Cup due to scandal.
Thome assured reporters in Madrid that she had spoken to the players she nominated and that none of them had refused to take part in the matches. World football players Alexia Putellas saw things completely differently. Late Monday night they announced they would continue the international strike.
Hermoso was not assigned to Tome. The coach said the reasons were that they wanted to “protect” Hermoso. In her Statement X, the 33-year-old also responded to Toma: “Protect me from what? And in front of whom?
Shortly before midnight, Aitana Bonmati, named the best player at the World Cup, wrote on the website that she fully stood with her teammates.
Through their international match strike, the players want to keep the pressure on the association high. The 21 members of the world champion team and 18 other leading players called, among other things, for the removal of RFEF interim boss Pedro Rocha and other officials close to Rubiales. Ironically, national team coach Thomé is also considered Rubiales’ confidante.
On Monday, the association published a communiqué on the occasion of the squad’s nomination and stressed: “We guarantee a safe environment for the players and are committed to an atmosphere of mutual trust to work together to ensure that women’s football develops even stronger into the future.”
Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine
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