Spanish world champion footballers Irene Paredes and Alexia Putellas on Thursday condemned decades-long “systematic discrimination” in women’s football by the Spanish Federation, stating that the “Rubiales case” was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“We have been asking people to listen to us for a long time, and we knew that there had been systemic discrimination in relation to women’s football for many decades. We had to fight hard to be heard, and that meant the wear and tear that it did.” Alexia Putellas said in a press conference in Gothenburg, on the eve of the European Nations League match between Spain and Sweden: “We do not want to experiment, because what matters to us is winning.”
“But what happened in the final [do Mundial deste ano, em Sydney] And in the subsequent assembly [da Real Federação Espanhola de Futebol, RFEF] It was the straw that broke the camel’s back and we said it is not possible, and we cannot continue on this path. Given this situation, we had to say zero tolerance to Jenny [Hermoso]He added: “For us, and it sets a precedent.”
In the World Cup final, in Sydney, on 20 August, the then president of the Spanish Federation, Luis Rubiales, kissed footballer Gheni Hermoso on the field, in an act that the player said was not consensual.
Days later, at a general meeting of the union, Rubiales confirmed that the kiss was consensual and refused to resign from his position.
Rubiales ended up resigning weeks later, facing pressure from public opinion and the Spanish government, and after FIFA suspended him and opened a case against him, as did the Spanish Administrative Sports Court.
The Spanish Federation has since sacked team coach Jorge Villeda, but the players are demanding more changes from the federation, even saying they are not available to return to the national team until there are further changes.
However, new coach Montse Tommy ended up calling up several football players who showed they were not ready for the European Nations League matches against Sweden, on Friday, and Switzerland, next Tuesday.
Most of the players who were called up ended up traveling to Sweden, after the intervention of the President of the Spanish Supreme Sports Council (CSD), a government-supervised body, which acted as an intermediary between the footballers and the federation, which led to the Spanish Football Federation committing to respond to the demands of the world champions. .
“We didn’t want to come. We decided we couldn’t come. It wasn’t the right time. We had to. We came upset, but we came and accepted some meetings. The meeting was constructive, and agreements were reached.” “It has been reached and we believe it is important to move forward and from here we know that there are things that take time,” Alexia Putellas said.
The player also explained that they decided to stay in the national team because of the U-23 team, which will be called up to replace them, leaving the younger players in a difficult situation.
“The only thing we want is to play football in decent conditions and be respected. Until now this has not been possible and after the final [do mundial]“No way,” said Irene Paredes, who held the press conference with Alexia Putellas.
“That’s why we’re trying to change things. To get to that moment where players dedicate themselves to playing and don’t worry about knowing whether the system works or not. We were without support. Now CDS has stepped in. “A very strong way, which is grateful,” she added. But until now we felt alone.”
Irene Paredes stressed that there are things that are already being accomplished and improved, “but the light at the end of the tunnel has not yet been seen, and this takes a long time.”
He added: “We realize that we have a megaphone to be able to do this, and there are a lot of people behind us, comrades from national teams and other sports and women with similar conditions, and we want this to be a turning point, to look at every individual.” He added: “Otherwise, we raise our voices and eradicate these conditions.”
The two players held the press conference after the new Spain women’s national team coach, Montsi Tomé, spoke to reporters alone in the press room.
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