On Thursday, 15 Spanish football players declared themselves unavailable for selection for as long as Jorge Vilda continues as head coach, which generated mutiny in Spain’s women’s football squad.
These fifteen players have written to the Spanish Federation RFEF, in which they insisted that the coach has affected their health and emotional state and that they do not intend to return until a solution is found. These players had failed to have removed the coach at the end of August.
Six Barcelona players, Ona Batlle, Lucía García, Laia Aleixandri, and Leila Ouahabi, were among those who sent emails. Alexia Putellas and captain Irene Paredes were not among them, but injury meant the latter was already unavailable for the upcoming games in October.
The RFEF responded with a strongly worded statement in which they described this problem as unprecedented in the history of football, a situation that goes beyond sport to be a question of dignity, and insisting that it would not give in to pressure.
The Federation noted that If any player refuses to play for the national team could result in bans of between two and five years, but they declared that they would not call up any of the players involved in it until they admit their mistake and apologize.
The players appeared in a press conference together on social media in which players insisted that they had not asked for him to be sacked but admitted that the captains, representing the group, communicated the way they feel.
The RFEF refused to bow to that pressure, and the tone and language used in their response underlined that reconciliation will be difficult.
On Thursday night, A statement was released, in which they confirmed that they had received 15 letters that were all coincidentally written the same way.
The statement vowed that the Federation will not allow the players to question the continuity of the coach, as taking those decisions are not part of their role.
The RFEF will not accept any pressure being exerted by any player when it comes to making sporting decisions, the statement vowed.
The players who are committed even if that means playing with youth players will be called by the Federation.
The Federation will only call upon the players who are committed, and the national team also needs committed players who are proud to wear Spain’s shirt.