The Spanish players demand the restructuring of the women’s soccer organization chart, they demand in-depth and forceful changes in their federation. What can Latin American women’s soccer learn from this demand?
Thirty-nine players, including 21 of the 23 world champions, demanded this Friday from the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) the restructuring of the women’s football organization chart and assured that the changes made in the organization “are not enough for “they to feel in a safe place.”
In a statement, the players ask the RFEF for five changes: the restructuring of the women’s football organization chart and that of the presidential cabinet and general secretary, the resignation of the president of the RFEF, a position now held on an interim basis by Pedro Rocha, and the restructuring of the communication and marketing area, as well as the integrity management.
“Today, as we have transmitted to the RFEF, the changes that have occurred are not enough for the players to feel in a safe place where women are respected, we are committed to women’s football where we can give our maximum performance”, they say, before the new coach, Montse Tomé, announces the call for the Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland on September 22 and 26.
Why demand fundamental changes?
The soccer players emphasize that they are “professionals” and what fills them most with pride is wearing the national team’s shirt and, they say, “always leading our country to the highest positions.”
“For this reason,” they say, “we believe that it is time to fight to show that these situations and practices have no place in our football or in our society, that the current structure needs changes and we do it so that the next generations can have a football that is much more egalitarian and at the level of what we all deserve.
Following the statement, the RFEF has postponed the announcement of the first call-up of Montse Tomé, appointed coach after the dismissal of Jorge Vilda on the 5th, which was scheduled for this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
The players reiterate “their enormous discontent” over what happened at the World Cup medal ceremony in Sydney, in which Luis Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso, and the subsequent extraordinary meeting of the RFEF, in which he refused to resign, although he did it on the 10th; events that, according to what they say, “are not something specific and go beyond sports.”
“In the face of these acts we must have zero tolerance, for our companion, for ourselves and for all women,” they add, while explaining that after what happened, various meetings were held with the RFEF, “in which the clearly and forcefully on the part of the staff the changes” that they understand “are basic to be able to move forward and reach a structure that neither tolerates nor is part of such degrading events.”
“The players of the Spanish team have at all times had an open attitude to dialogue , seeking to convey clear and reasoned reasons that we understand are necessary to be able to carry out our work at the highest level with the respect we deserve,” they add.
They also affirm that “the specified changes to the RFEF are based on zero tolerance for those people who, from a position within the RFEF, have had, incited, hidden or applauded attitudes that go against the dignity of women.”
“We firmly believe that strong changes are required in the leadership positions of the RFEF and, specifically, in the area of women’s football. All of these people understand that they must be far from the system that should protect us and that unfortunately is far from a advanced society,” they emphasize.
For this reason, they list the five changes they request from the RFEF, “so that this type of attitude does not happen again, and in order to have absolute transparency”, among which they include the restructuring of the women’s football organization chart and the resignation of the president of the RFEF, a position held on an interim basis by Pedro Rocha since FIFA temporarily suspended Luis Rubiales on August 26 for his behavior in the World Cup final.
Who signs it?
The statement is signed by 39 players. The only world champions who do not subscribe to it are Athenea del Castillo and Claudia Zornoza, who has announced that she is retiring from the national team, and regarding the statement issued on August 25, in which the world champions announced their resignation from the national team , with the support of 33 other soccer players, Inma Gabarro and Jana Fernández signed the new text.
The signatories are Ivana Andrés, María Isabel Rodríguez, Jana Fernández, Aitana Bonmatí, Oihane Hernández, Patricia Guijarro, Alba Redondo, Olga Carmona, Lola Gallardo, Alexia Putellas, Ona Batlle, Nerea Eizagirre, Cata Coll, Salma Paralluelo, Ainhoa Moraza, Enith Salón, Rocío Gálvez, Mapi León, Esther González, Teresa Abelleira, Sandra Paños, Irene Paredes, Elene Lete, Claudia Pina, Irene Guerrero, Fiamma Benítez, Amaiur Sarriegi, Jennifer Hermoso, Inma Gabarro, Leila Ouahabi, Laia Codina, Eva Navarro, Laia Aleixandri, María Pérez, Marta Cardona, Lucia García, Mariona Caldentey, Maite Oroz and Andrea Pereira.