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Spain women’s team players resign over issues with head coach

Spain women's team resign

The Spain women’s team saw a number of players resign recently due to problems with the squad’s coach.

Fifteen players sent a mass email to the national team late Thursday. The women cited mental health issues brought on by head coach Jorge Vilda. On Friday, the email went public.

In the statement, the players ask not to be involved with the team for the time being. “The general situation on the Spanish national team generated by recent events, events which (the federation) is aware of, is greatly affecting my emotional state and therefore my health,” each of the 15 players wrote.

“Due to this, I presently do not consider myself to be a available for our national team and therefore ask to not be called up until this situation changes.”

While the Spanish FA says these players resigned, the 15 women contrast that. Instead, the players simply ask to withdraw their names from selection. That way, they can focus on their mental health. They want to return once the Spanish FA resolves the aforementioned situations.

Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas posted on social media the response to the Spanish FA.

In the excerpt, Putellas says the players never asked for the dismissal of the coach as mentioned.

“We understand that our job is in no case to choose such a position, but to express constructively and honestly what we consider can improve the group’s performance.”

“By requesting not to be summoned, we penalize our professional career, our economy and of course the continued effort to build something important in women’s soccer.”

Fifteen players resign from Spain women’s team

Guijarro appeared next to Paredes and forward Jennifer Hermoso at a press conference earlier this month. The trio voiced their concerns. Yet, they kept the issue more on actual match results. “It is a complicated moment,” claimed Paredes. “We are an ambitious team and we want to get better and win. We believe that various internal aspects (of the team) must improve.”

“There is a generalized discontentment among the team for what we went through at the end of the Eurocup,” said Guijarro. “We thought that we had a group that could win titles. We think that and feel that way. After the Eurocup, the group sent that message to our coach.”

None of the players mentioned their mental health in regard to Vilda’s actions at the press conference.

Head of women’s soccer in Spain Ana Alvarez backed Vilda. Alvarez claimed there are no reports of sexual or verbal abuse from the players. “Nothing like that has ever occurred (under Vilda),” Álvarez proclaimed on Cadena SER radio. “All of us are professionals and there has never been anything to taint that. Nothing of what you could be thinking has happened. That would be very serious.”

The Spanish women’s team hired Vilda in 2015. Prior to him, players demanded the resignation of his predecessor, Ignacio Quereda.

Spain next has two friendlies scheduled for October.

PHOTO: IMAGO / NurPhoto

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