The Spanish soccer federation has vowed to prevent a repeat of the “forced kissing” scandal involving its former president.
Spanish women’s soccer players who refused to call up and play for the national team have called off their boycott.
“The Spanish soccer federation has promised immediate and deep changes and a reshuffle of its leadership,” Reuters reported on Nov. 21 (KST).
The decision was made after about seven hours of discussions at a hotel near Valencia, Spain, between the women’s national soccer team, officials from the Spanish soccer federation, the National Sports Council (CSD), and the women’s players’ union FUTPRO.
According to the decision, six to nine high-level officials of the federation will be relieved of their duties. The players and FUTPRO had demanded the resignation of specific executives.
“A joint committee of the Spanish Football Federation, the CSD and the players will be set up to give final approval to the decision and follow up on it,” said CSD president Victor Francos.
“The players have communicated to the federation that significant changes are needed, and the federation has committed to implementing their requests with immediate effect.”
The Spanish soccer federation has also decided to drop “women” from the official name of the women’s national team and refer to both the men’s and women’s teams as the “Spanish National Teams.
“It’s a symbolic step to raise awareness of gender equality,” said Pedro Rocha, president of the Spanish Football Federation, “to change the perception that soccer is just soccer, no matter who is kicking the ball.”
The federation also pledged to provide a safe environment for players.
During the awards ceremony following Spain’s victory at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023, former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales surprisingly kissed his country’s player Henrique Hermoso, sparking worldwide outrage.
After Hermoso said he “didn’t feel good” and his labor union, Futpro, called for him to be punished for the incident, Rubiales maintained his innocence, saying they had “discussed it beforehand,” but public opinion turned against him and he resigned.
A total of 81 Spanish women’s professional soccer players, including the former captain, announced that they would refuse to be called up to the national team.
As a result, most of the members of the World Cup-winning squad were named in the call-up list for the 2023-2024 UEFA Women’s Nations League under new coach Montserrat Tome, but boycotted the call-up and participation.
All of the players on the list participated in training on Sept. 19, but two were eventually dropped from the roster, which could have resulted in a €30,000 fine and up to a 15-year suspension of the federation’s license.
The Spanish women’s soccer team will face Sweden and Switzerland in the group stage on Sept. 22 and 26, respectively. 먹튀검증