15 players resign from Spain women's team in protest against Jorge Vilda
By Sean Walsh
15 players have submitted resignations to Spain's RFEF footballing federation insisting they will not return to the setup while Jorge Vilda remains head coach.
News broke of their demands late on Thursday night and it quickly rocked the landscape of Spanish football.
Rather alarmingly, the RFEF released a defiant statement seemingly standing by Vilda regardless of the public backlash and revealing that those who submitted resignations could be banned from the national team for five years.
"The Real Federación Española de Fútbol communicates that, throughout today, it has received 15 emails from 15 players of the women's senior football team, coincidentally all with the same wording, in which they state that the current situation generated It affects 'significantly' their 'emotional state' and their 'health' and that, 'as long as it is not reversed', they resign from the Spanish national team," the statement read.
"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. The Federation will not admit any type of pressure from any player when adopting sports measures. These types of manoeuvres are far from exemplary and outside the values of football and sport and are harmful.
"In accordance with current Spanish legislation, not attending a national team call is classified as a very serious infraction and can carry sanctions of between two and five years of disqualification. The RFEF, contrary to the way these players act, wants to make it clear that it will not take them to this extreme or pressure them. Directly, it will not summon the soccer players who do not want to wear the Spain shirt. The Federation will only have committed footballers even if they have to play with youth.
"This fact has gone from being a sporting issue to a dignity issue. The selection is non-negotiable. It is an unprecedented situation in the history of football, both male and female, in Spain and worldwide.
"The present and future of Spain lies in the potential of the lower categories and of players who this summer have been proclaimed U-20 world champions and U-19 European champions, in addition to obtaining the European U-17 youth runner-up .
"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."