Spain’s World Cup winning-squad has agreed to end their boycott of the national team after the country’s football federation (RFEF) promised to make “immediate and profound changes” to its structure. The decision to end the boycott came after seven hours of meetings involving players, RFEF officials, the National Sports Council (CSD), and the women’s players’ union FUTPRO. The players had initially announced the boycott in protest of the federation’s lack of action following an incident where former RFEF boss Luis Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the World Cup presentation ceremony.
Joint Commission to Oversee Changes
Following the discussions, it was decided that a joint commission would be created between RFEF, CSD, and the players to ensure that the agreed-upon changes are implemented. The commission will sign the necessary agreements to solidify the commitment. Although the details of the changes were not revealed during the meeting, officials assure that they will be announced soon.
Players Express Concern for RFEF Reforms
The players expressed their concern about the need for profound changes within the RFEF. The federation has recognized the urgency of these changes and has committed to making them immediately. FUTPRO president Amanda Gutierrez stated, “The players see it as a rapprochement of positions. It is the beginning of a long road ahead of us.”
Legal Implications of Boycott
Before calling off the boycott, the players studied the legal implications of boycotting the national team. If they had refused the call-up without valid reasoning, they could have faced fines of up to 30,000 euros ($32,000) and a suspension of their federation license for two to fifteen years, according to Spain’s Sports Act. The players argued that the federation’s call-up was not issued within FIFA parameters in terms of timing and procedure.
Continued Intention to Represent Spain
Although some players initially boycotted the team, most of them have decided to stay for the sake of the agreement and their commitment to representing Spain. The players believe that this is a step towards a better future and are hopeful that the changes will address their concerns.
Implications for Upcoming Games
Twenty players who were boycotting the team were called up for upcoming games. While all of them reported for training on Tuesday, two players decided to leave the squad for “personal reasons.” The identities of these two players will remain anonymous, and they will not face any sanctions.
Nations League and Olympic Qualification
Spain is set to make their debut in the Women’s Nations League against Sweden and will then play against Switzerland. The Nations League will determine which European teams qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. This end to the boycott allows the Spanish team to focus on their upcoming matches and strive for qualification.
The decision by Spain’s women players to end their boycott of the national team comes after the country’s football federation promised to make immediate and profound changes. A joint commission between the federation, the National Sports Council, and the players will oversee the implementation of these changes. The players expressed their concerns regarding the need for reforms within the federation, and they hope that this agreement will pave the way for a better future. Despite initial apprehension, most players have decided to continue representing Spain. This development allows the team to focus on upcoming matches in the Women’s Nations League and to work towards qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.