Tensions in the senior women’s squad had existed for a long time and were the main topic of the last September grouping. With the Federation firmly on the side of coach Jorge Vilda, the union received identical e-mails yesterday evening from 15 active players who refused to play for the national team for “emotional reasons that affect their health.”
There is no Real Madrid player among the 15 players. E-mails were sent by female footballers from Barcelona, Atlético, United, City, Sociedad and Amérika. The best female soccer player in the world, Alexia Putellas, who is currently recovering from a knee injury, is not on the list, but the attacker is expected to support this move of her friends. From Real Madrid, 8 players were called up for the last training camp, but none of them sent an e-mail refusing to play for the team.
The rebellious players, although they do not inform about it in the e-mail, since the summer EURO, where they lost to England in the quarter-finals, have a problem with Vilda’s methods, which they accuse of lack of experience, bad forms of group management, bad training, bad relations with the team and bad individual treatment. Already in September, some of the footballers directly conveyed their dissatisfaction to the coach and the president of the Federation, but in the end the coach received support from the union.
Immediately in the evening, the Federation replied with a message that it would not allow the players to undermine the coach and his staff. The RFEF announced that a refusal to accept the appointment could result in a suspension of up to 5 years, but that female players will only get a chance to rejoin the national team if they admit their mistake and apologize. Importantly, the Spanish government, through the head of the National Sports Council, adds that female soccer players have exaggerated and that a dialogue should be established to solve this problem.
The upcoming matches will be played by the women’s team on October 7 with Sweden and on October 11 with the United States. These will be sparring matches in preparation for next year’s World Cup. The Vilda coach will announce the list for these matches next week.
Most journalists commenting on the situation indicate that they see no other solution to the matter than the coach’s resignation, but at the moment there is no indication that Vilda will decide to do so.