Before the Nations League game: the Spanish government puts pressure on players

DThe government has had enough already. After “open war” broke out between the World Cup champions and Spain’s RFEF, Madrid declared the dispute, with its ever-changing degree of escalation, a matter of state. The threat of punishment worked – the first players appeared at the national team meeting place on Tuesday morning. “If they don’t come, the government will have to apply the law. We don’t want to sanction them, but the law is the law,” said Victor Francos, who wants to end the chaos as president of the sport’s top body CSD. “The government has a responsibility to intervene. We will do our best to resolve the problem.”

The term “problem” is no longer sufficient to describe the situation. Finally, from 2022, Spanish sports law provides for fines of between 3,000 and 30,000 euros and disqualifications of up to five years for candidates who do not compete. While the newspaper “AS” writes on the front page about “open war”, competition from “Sport” is only irritated by a dispute that could cost the Spaniards participation in the Olympics: “Enough!”, they say there. .


However, judging by recent events, this request appears to be nothing more than a pious desire. After the new coach of the national team, Montse Thome, called 15 World Cup winners from Sydney into the squad for the Nations League games and announced that an agreement had been reached with the players who were actually on strike, they did not want to know anything about it. Players around two-time world champion Alexia Putellas said they were still on strike and threatened the association with legal action.

What happens next remains unclear. Surrounded by dozens of camera crews, Thome made his first appearance on Tuesday at the team hotel in Madrid. After that, six players arrived, five of whom are actually on strike. Including Olga Carmona, the scorer of the winning goal in the World Cup final against England.

Goalkeeper Misa Rodriguez did not hide her mood. “No,” she replied when reporters asked if she was happy to be here. The protagonist of the dispute had previously added fuel to the fire. “The players are confident that this is another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate us, threaten us with legal consequences and financial sanctions,” Jenny Hermoso wrote on Platform X. Hermoso herself is absent from what the association says is their own roster. protection. The 33-year-old was kissed on the lips by Spanish association president Luis Rubiales, who has since resigned without her consent, at the medal ceremony after the World Cup final.

“What should I protect myself from? And in front of whom? — Hermoso wrote. The nomination of players who explicitly asked not to be nominated is now “further proof that nothing has changed.” Hermoso once again made it clear that Rubiales’ resignation and the dismissal of world champion coach Jorge Vilda did not affect the players. She received support from the Spanish Minister of Sports. “We call on the association to change its structure so that it becomes a place of safety, competitiveness and professionalism,” said Mikel Iseta: “The players and the population of Spain have the right to this.”

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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