In an unexpected twist, several Spanish national team players who had previously announced their boycott of the squad have now shown up for international duty. This surprising development comes in the wake of controversy surrounding the former president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, who had kissed Jenni Hermoso after the Women’s World Cup final last month, sparking the player protest.
Despite the players’ earlier stance, there are still uncertainties regarding their participation in the upcoming Nations League matches. Spain is scheduled to play against Sweden on Friday and Switzerland next Tuesday.
Six players residing in Madrid arrived at a hotel in the capital city before departing to join the rest of the team in Valencia. In Valencia, they will undergo training before their journey to Sweden on Thursday. These six players include five from Real Madrid: Olga Carmona, renowned for scoring the winning goal in the World Cup final against England, along with Misa Rodriguez, Oihane Hernandez, Teresa Abelleira, and Athenea del Castillo. Joining them is Atletico Madrid forward Eva Navarro.
Notably, the players have all expressed their support for the initial boycott. When goalkeeper Rodriguez was asked if she was happy to be in the squad, her response was a straightforward “no.”
Additionally, some Barcelona-based players, including two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, have also made their way to the camp near Valencia. However, their sentiments about the situation were far from positive, with Putellas stating, “Well, bad.”
Mapi Leon, another Barcelona teammate, echoed these concerns, emphasizing that they felt compelled to attend. She mentioned, “We have been forced to come. But if they want to sanction us [for staying away], then we have to come.”
Spanish journalist Guillem Balague shed light on the players’ predicament, highlighting that they reported to the camp due to legal repercussions if they failed to show up, which includes bans from the national team and fines.
The players are expected to engage in discussions with both the federation and the government, as they have previously called for changes within the federation. The Spanish government is eager to see the newly crowned world champions qualify for next year’s Olympic Games, as the top two teams from the inaugural women’s Nations League will secure a spot in Paris 2024.
Despite the potential boycott, Sweden’s coach, Peter Gerhardsson, stated that it hasn’t affected their preparations for Friday’s Group A4 match. He acknowledged the lack of information but remained focused on his team’s training sessions.
In essence, while the players have complied with reporting for international duty to avoid sanctions, the question of whether they will actually participate in the upcoming matches remains uncertain. A possible compromise could involve finding a new national team coach, as the players have expressed discontent with the current coach, Montse Tome, whom they feel is closely aligned with Luis Rubiales.
This ongoing saga underscores the complex interplay between sports, politics, and personal sentiments within the realm of international football.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Boycott Reversal
Why did the Spanish players initially boycott the national team?
The Spanish players initiated the boycott after the former president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, kissed Jenni Hermoso following the Women’s World Cup final last month. This gesture sparked controversy and led to player protests.
Why have some of the boycotting players now reported for international duty?
Several boycotting players have reported for international duty due to the legal repercussions they faced if they did not show up, including bans from the national team and fines.
Will these players participate in the upcoming Nations League matches?
It remains uncertain whether the players who reported for duty will actually participate in the upcoming Nations League matches, as there are ongoing discussions and discontent with the current coach, Montse Tome.
What does the Spanish government want regarding the women’s national team?
The Spanish government is keen on seeing the newly crowned world champions qualify for next year’s Olympic Games, with the top two teams from the inaugural women’s Nations League securing spots in Paris 2024.
How has this controversy affected the preparations of Spain’s opponents, like Sweden?
Sweden’s coach, Peter Gerhardsson, stated that the potential boycott has not affected their preparations for the upcoming match and that they remain focused on their training sessions.