Spanish and Swedish players came together before their Nations League clash to show support and send a message that the fight for equality in women’s football is ongoing. The match ended with a 3-2 victory for Spain, but the Swedish players believed that the display of solidarity was just as important. Sweden captain Kosovare Asllani, who previously played for Real Madrid, expressed her support for her former teammates and emphasized that the struggle for equality is a global issue. The teams united before the game, holding up a banner with the words “Our fight is the global fight” and the hashtag #SeAcabo.
The conflict between the Spanish team and their association reached a boiling point when former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales kissed player Jennie Hermoso on the lips after winning the World Cup final. While Rubiales saw it as a gesture of affection and celebration, many female players, including Hermoso, viewed it as a display of power dynamics in women’s football. Asllani called for the removal of those who hinder equality within federations and highlighted that this issue is not unique to Spain.
Despite the resignations of Rubiales and team coach Jorge Vilda, the game in Gothenburg almost didn’t happen. Many Spanish players initially refused to join a squad still governed by structures that had led some of them to boycott the World Cup. However, after extensive discussions and crisis meetings, 21 of the original 23 players decided to travel to Sweden. The Swedish team assured their opponents that they would support any protest they wished to stage.
Once the game started, the show of support was put aside, and both teams focused on playing. Swedish fans in the stands displayed their support for the Spanish players, but they were disappointed by the late penalty that resulted in Spain’s victory. Despite the loss, the Swedish players found solace in the solidarity they had shown, knowing that the fight for equality is ongoing. Defender Magda Eriksson emphasized that the goal is for every federation to treat their players with respect and ensure they are treated as they deserve.
The article concludes with Eriksson stating that the fight for equality must continue until every player feels they are treated in the way they want to be treated.
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