Wednesday saw the World Cup-winning squad from Spain decide to call off their early boycott of the national team after the football federation (RFEF) of the nation announced that it will be making “immediate and profound changes” to its organizational structure.
After more than seven hours of negotiations at a hotel in Oliva, an hour from Valencia, with representatives from the RFEF, the National Sports Council (CSD), and the women’s players’ union FUTPRO, the decision was made at almost five a.m. (0300 GMT).
The players’ declaration that they would not play for Spain unless further federation reforms were made exacerbated the already-existing problem sparked by former (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales’s kissing of Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the World Cup presentation ceremony.
“To follow up on the agreements, which will be signed tomorrow,” CSD President Victor Francos told reporters. “A joint commission will be created between RFEF, CSD, and players.”
“The RFEF has pledged to implement these changes immediately, and the players have voiced their concerns about the need for significant changes.”
Only that the modifications will be disclosed “soon” was all that Francos and Rafael del Amo, the head of the RFEF committee for women’s football, would say about the alterations.
The participants see it as a convergence of positions. For us, this is only the start of a long journey “FUTPRO President Amanda Gutierrez said reporters.
“They have once again demonstrated their ability to reason, and the great majority have chosen to remain in order to uphold this agreement.”
Following the selection of the majority of the Women’s World Cup champions for forthcoming matches, the players released a joint statement in which they stated they would study the legal ramifications of being included on a squad list from which they had requested to be excluded and then make the “best decision” for their health and future.
The argument put out was that the federation was not authorized to demand their participation, citing that the call-up was not made in accordance with FIFA’s guidelines regarding scheduling and protocol.
According to Spain’s Sports Act, if the players had declined the call-up, they might have been subject to penalties of up to 30,000 euros ($32,000) and the suspension of their federation license for a period of two to fifteen years.
New coach Montse Tome summoned up twenty players who had said they would boycott the team; nevertheless, two of them chose to quit the team for “personal reasons” on Tuesday, even though the rest of the players showed up for practice.
It was decided that both participants’ identities would be secret and that neither would receive any punishment.
Francos said, “The first thing they were told here was that neither the CSD nor the federation was going to apply a sanctioning process, so anyone who is not comfortable or does not feel strong enough should know that.”
The players’ uprising began when former RFEF president Rubiales gave forward Hermoso a kiss on the lips after Spain won the World Cup.
She disagreed with his assertion that the kiss was consensual, which sparked a national discussion on the culture of machismo in sports and ultimately resulted in Rubiales’s resignation.
Hermoso said that the RFEF was attempting to divide and control the players since he was not included in the squad list that was released on Monday.
Spain will play their first Women’s Nations League match on Friday in Gothenburg against Sweden. On September 26, they will face Switzerland in Cordoba.
Teams from Europe will be qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris based on their performance in the Nations League.
The players will relax and have a late breakfast, according to the RFEF. On Wednesday afternoon, they will conduct their first session before leaving for Gothenburg on Thursday morning.