Spain women's team list demands for reform amid ongoing strike

  • Manager Jorge Vilda was sacked and president Luis Rubiales stepped down recently
  • World Cup winners start their Nations League campaign next week
  • 39 players still refusing to be available for selection

Spain won the World Cup less than a month ago but remain on strike against the RFEF
Spain won the World Cup less than a month ago but remain on strike against the RFEF / SOPA Images/GettyImages

The Spanish national team are again protesting against the RFEF, despite head coach Jorge Vilde being sacked and president Luis Rubiales resigning.

Spain won the World Cup a month ago and are due to start their Nations League campaign next week, taking on Sweden and Switzerland in their first two games.

However, 39 players - including two-time Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas - are on strike once again, refusing to return to the fold unless the RFEF commit to more changes.

The statement read: "Players of the Spanish national team wish to express enormous dissatisfaction at what happened in the medal ceremony and at the general assembly afterwards. The events that were unfortunately seen around the world go beyond are not punctual and go beyond sporting issues. In fact of these acts, we must have zero tolerance, for our teammate, for ourselves and for all women.

"Several weeks after the events, we want to make public various meetings with the RFEF in which we have expressed in a clear manner the changes we feel are fundamental to be able to advance and arrive to structure that does not tolerate such denigrating actions.

"At all times the players have had an open attitude to dialogue, seeking to clearly convey and argue the reasons we believe change is necessary to be able to carry out our work at the highest level with the respect we deserve.

"The changes specified to the RFEF are based on zero tolerance for those people at the RFEF that have had, incited, hidden or applauded attitudes that go against the dignity of women. We believe firmly that decisive changes are needed in the leadership positions at the RFEF and to the women's football department.

"All these people should be away from the system that we feel should protect us and that is unfortunately far away from an advanced society.

"We have notified the RFEF that the changes so far are not enough for the player to feel safe, where women are respected and there is a commitment to women's football where we can give best performances.

"We want to finish by saying the players of the Spanish national team are professionals and what fills us with most pride is wearing the shirt of the national team. Therefore, we believe it is time to fight to show these situations and practices have no place in football or society.

"The current structure needs changes so that the next generations can have an equal playing playing field to the level which we all deserve."

The rift between players and the RFEF has been ongoing for over a year. Last September, 15 players refused to play for the national team due to issues within the setup. Only three of these players decided to return to play at the World Cup.

Despite winning the World Cup, the event was marred by Rubiales forcibly kissing Jenni Hermoso. He initially pleaded his innocence but has since stepped aside.

Rubiales is currently facing sexual assault charges for his actions towards Hermoso, who said the kiss was not consensual. He also faces coercion charges for putting pressure on Hermoso and her relatives to claim she approved of the kiss.

Spain's sports court (TAD) have also launched investigations into Rubiales' conduct having grabbed his crotch, hugged and kissed numerous players and threw another over his shoulder during the team's celebrations.

Over 80 former and current players have resigned from the team following the incident, with the 11 technical staff under ViIda also handing in their resignations. Only one active member of Spain's World Cup-winning squad has not resigned from the team - Athenea del Castillo.

New coach Montse Tome was supposed to announce her first Nations League squad on Friday, but the announcement has since been delayed following the players' statement.