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Spain's women's team in disarray

TROUBLE BREWING? Several Spain players threaten to quit women's national team due to coaching issues

September 23, 2022 By Michelle Bonsu
According to reports, as many as 15 players have threatened to quit the women's national team if head coach Jorge Vilda isn't sacked.

Earlier this summer, Spain took part in the 2022 UEFA Women's EURO tournament. Although La Roja were missing two key players, namely Ballon d'Or Feminin winner Alexia Putellas and Jennifer Hermoso, they nonetheless made it to the quarter-finals after finishing second in their group behind Germany.

Esther Gonzalez became the first player to score against eventual winners England during that match, but Spain ended up losing the match as the Lionesses rallied to earn a 2-1 victory. Despite this, Spain have booked their spot at the 2023 Women's World Cup after picking up maximum points from their eight qualifying games to date.

However, although things may be appearing to progressing, there are reports that all is not well behind the scenes. For nearly 30 years, La Roja were coached by Ignacio Quereda, who took over in 1988 and was eventually forced out in 2015 after complaints from the players, with all 23 members of the 2015 World Cup squad calling for his immediate sacking.

Current coach Jorge Vilda was appointed in August 2015, and despite boasting a 75 per cent winning track record, there are rumblings that once again, there are some issues between the manager and several players.

Indeed, a report claims that as many as 15 senior players have sent emails calling for the coach's dismissal, with that group claiming that their emotional and mental states have been affected by the environment created by Vilda's being in charge, and threatening to resign if changes are not made. Those players, who have not been named, have decided to remove themselves from selection for upcoming matches.

Meanwhile, unlike in 2015 where the players were able to push Quededa out, Spain's Football Federation (RFEF) has apparently backed Vilda. In a strong statement, the organizing body revealed that the "RFEF is not going to allow the players to question the continuity of the national coach and his coaching staff, since making those decisions does not fall within their powers. [Moreover], the Federation will not admit any type of pressure from any player when adopting sports measures [as] these types of manoeuvres are far from exemplary and outside the values of football and sport and are harmful".

Furthermore, the RFEF continued to drive its point home, stating that "The national team needs players committed to the project, defending our colours and proud to wear the Spain shirt. The players who have submitted their resignation will only return to the discipline of the national team in the future if they accept their mistake and ask for forgiveness".

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