Spain’s football federation (RFEF) is set to remove or dismiss between six and nine senior officials in order to resolve a threatened player boycott of the national team, according to a federation source. The players had previously stated that they would refuse to play for the national team as long as individuals who supported or condoned actions against women’s dignity remained within the federation. The timing of these personnel changes is currently unclear, and representatives of those on the list have not been reached for comment. Pablo Garcia, a spokesman for the RFEF, has not yet responded to a request for comment from RushHourDaily.
The turmoil in Spanish soccer began when former RFEF chief Luis Rubiales kissed midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the World Cup presentation ceremony on August 20. This action caused outrage among players, government officials, and many in Spanish society, and raised concerns about sexism in sports. Rubiales, who resigned on September 10, appeared before a judge on Monday to face a sexual assault complaint related to the kiss.
The list of RFEF departures was compiled during a lengthy meeting involving the players, their FUTPRO union, members of the Spanish National Sports Council (CSD), and the RFEF’s head of women’s football Rafael Del Amo. Some of the names on the list were suggested by the players themselves.
The meeting took place in a hotel outside Valencia, where the team’s training camp had been relocated to protect the players from media scrutiny ahead of their upcoming game against Sweden on Friday. The players had initially requested to be excluded from the Nation’s League match in Gothenburg, Spain’s first game as world champions, after being included in the squad for the match against Sweden. Refusing to play would have resulted in sanctions under Spanish law, including fines of up to 30,000 euros ($32,000) and a potential playing ban of two to 15 years.
CSD President Victor Francos announced that a joint commission would be established between the RFEF, CSD, and the players to oversee the implementation of the agreement. He stated that the players had expressed their concerns about the need for significant changes within the RFEF, which has committed to making these changes immediately.
As part of the agreement, the RFEF will remove the word “female” from the women’s national team’s official brand to align it with the men’s squad. Both teams will now be referred to as the “Spanish national football team.” RFEF President Pedro Rocha emphasized that this change is not just symbolic, but represents a shift in the concept of football and promotes a more egalitarian view of the sport.
In conclusion, the RFEF is taking steps to address the player boycott by removing or dismissing senior officials. The meeting between the players, their union, and representatives from the RFEF and CSD resulted in a joint commission being established to oversee the implementation of the agreement. The RFEF has also announced the removal of the word “female” from the women’s national team’s official brand.
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