Spain women’s team replaces 15 players who threatened to quit amid head coach stay

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Spain are ready to play with “younger and less experienced players” after 15 women’s internationals threatened to quit unless Spain head coach Jorte Wilda was sacked, Ana Alvarez, the Spanish FA’s head of women’s football, said.

A statement signed by the players via email to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Thursday said they were “resigning” from the national team as the situation seriously affected their “health” and “emotional state”.

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The players did not give specific reasons for their request to replace Vilda.

The RFEF said it would not bow down to any player’s pressure on sporting matters and labeled their actions “unprecedented and beyond the values ​​of football and sport”.

“If we have to play with younger and less experienced players, the national team is above all else,” said Ana Alvarez, head of RFEF women’s football. “It’s very extreme and has never happened before, so it’s unexpected.”

Alvarez said Vilda, who has been in charge since 2015 and is under contract until 2024, has the full support of the federation.

“Jorge Vilda is like all of us,” he said. “I spoke to him and this situation is not good.

“Vilda wants to continue and of course we want her to continue.”

“They are [players] We have decided to take this affirmative action,” Alvarez said. “This is their decision and it has been addressed. If they don’t want to come this time and don’t commit, so be it. We’re not going to question how players feel. They have already made it very clear in a statement.”

Alvarez confirmed that Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Butellas was not among the 15 players calling for Vilda’s sacking.

United States star Megan Rapinoe has offered her support to the restive Spaniards.

Robinho said in an Instagram post: “You’ve got 16th place with you in America. So many players like that together are so powerful. We all need to listen.”

Meanwhile, the Spanish government hopes the situation will be resolved.

Spain’s sports council had already had to act as a mediator earlier this month after female referees went on strike to demand improved conditions during the first season of a fully professional women’s league in Spain.

The president of the council, José Manuel Franco, described the players’ threat to walk out as a “disgrace”. said on the Spanish radio program COPE:

“Spanish women’s football is gaining an important and unique importance in Europe.

“We cannot tolerate a situation like this. The most any Spaniard can wish for is to represent your country in any sport.”

Spain have two friendlies coming up, the first against Sweden on October 7 and the USA four days later.

Villa led Spain to the quarter-finals of Euro 2022, losing in extra time to eventual winners England.

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