The vast majority of Spain’s World Cup-winning squad says it will refuse to be called up for the country’s two upcoming Women’s Nations League matches as it continues to push for “real structural changes” in Spanish soccer, following the fallout from ex-soccer boss Luis Rubiales’ unwanted kiss on La Roja star Jennifer Hermoso.
For nearly a month, Spain has been rocked by the incident between ex-Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Rubiales and Hermoso, which has overshadowed the team’s historic victory.
Spain was due to announce a squad for its next two matches on Friday but has now postponed the decision after 39 players, including 21 of the 23-woman World Cup squad, signed a joint letter condemning RFEF.
“As of today, as we have communicated to RFEF, the changes which have been made are not enough so that the players feel in a safe place, where women are respected, women’s football is supported and where we can give our all,” the letter said, which was posted by two-time Ballon d’Or Féminin winner Alexia Putellas on X, formerly Twitter.
“We wish to end this statement expressing that the players of the Spanish women’s national team are professional players, and what most fills us with pride is putting on the shirt of the national team and always taking our country to the highest places.
“Because of that, we believe it is the moment to fight to show that these situations and practices have no place in our football or in our society, that the current structure needs change and we are doing this so that the next generations can have a much more equal football and one at the level which we all deserve.”
In the letter, the players outlined a number of changes they wanted to see within the Spanish federation, including restructuring the women’s football organization, the office of the presidency and the secretary general, the communications and marketing departments, and the integrity department.
“As stated previously, we are breaking down in a detailed way the changes requested so that these type of attitudes never again happen and with the goal of having absolute transparency,” the letter added.
World players’ union FIFPRO posted on X in support of the players’ decision saying, “FIFPRO fully supports the Spain Women’s National Team in their united call for change. #SeAcabó (It’s over).”
Two-time NBA champion and Spanish basketball legend Pau Gasol also added his voice to players, posting: “You have all of my support.”
The latest development comes after more than 80 Spanish soccer players – including all of…