'The 39' remain: they do not return to the national team

The conflict between players and the national team remains open.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
17 September 2023 Sunday 16:22
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'The 39' remain: they do not return to the national team

The conflict between players and the national team remains open. Yesterday, the Spanish Federation gave an ultimatum to the 39 internationals who requested changes in the federative structure to return to the national team, according to Onda Cero and confirmed by La Vanguardia. They promised the footballers that all their requests would be carried out within a month and urged them to inform the Federation of their return to the national team before midnight.

A very difficult deadline to meet considering that yesterday there was a day in League F and that the last match, Levante-Sevilla, did not end until eleven at night. Furthermore, the footballers have not received any guarantee that the Federation will carry out these changes, beyond their word, so they remain firm in their position and will not be on the list that will be announced this afternoon (4:30 p.m. ) Montse Tomé for the next two Nations League games.

The footballers consider that they have already been very clear in explaining the reasons why they are asking for these changes. In no case have they asked for anyone's resignation, they talk about restructuring because their objective is to ensure that those people who participated in the pressure on Jenni Hermoso are away from the women's team. In the meetings they have held with the Federation, the players have given names and surnames and explained the specific reasons with detailed examples of situations and behaviors that these people have had with the footballers.

This morning, Mexican América player Andrea Pereira confirmed that the players' desire is to return, but that "there are still several things to change before we go again." “I am delighted to return to the national team. I have always thought that it should be every player's dream, but there are still issues to be addressed and although there are some aspects that are not in our hands, there are things that must be changed,” she explained after América's victory against Chivas. “It will always be a desire to go to the national team, but I must say that there are still several things to change before we go again,” she reiterated.

Pereira is part of 'the 15' internationals who resigned from the national team demanding a more professional structure for the women's team and also one of the 39 who signed last Friday's statement requesting changes in five areas of the Federation in order that " The players sit in a safe place, where women are respected, there is a commitment to women's football and where we can give our maximum performance.”

Specifically, they have requested changes in the presidential cabinet and general secretary; the communication and marketing area; the integrity direction; as well as the restructuring of the women's football organization chart and the resignation of the president of the RFEF, Luis Rubiales. This last one, the only one of the five points that has been fulfilled so far.

While the Federation publicly states that it is open to a restructuring and promises the footballers to carry out the changes they ask for, on the other hand it has been leaked in the last few hours that some directors and employees of the RFEF are thinking of suing the international players for " coercion and slander.” According to El Español, these members informed Rocha by letter of their intention to take legal action against the soccer players.

The Federation had asked the players for clarity in their requests, something they did by letter last Friday morning, hours before the public statement that the 39 shared on their social networks in the afternoon. Now, some members of the Federation want to use it to sue them for coercion "due to the pressure with which they have demanded their dismissals from the RFEF", and for slander "due to the facts that they attribute to them and with which they justify before this body their request,” reports El Español. More wood for a fire that is impossible to put out.

Despite the conversations held in recent days, at this time the 39 remain firm in their decision, including 21 world champions, and Montse Tomé will have to look for alternatives to make a list for the Nations League, in which Spain debuts on Friday against Sweden in Göteborg, with a ticket to the Olympic Games at stake.

The only solution left for Tomé is to make a 'B' list without these 39 internationals to face the matches against Sweden (22) and Switzerland (26). A list that could include Real Madrid player Athenea del Castillo, who did not sign the statement along with her teammates. Thinking about an alternative plan, the coach witnessed two League F matches live this Sunday. In the morning she was in Alcalá for Atlético-Athletic, and in the afternoon she was in Fuenlabrada for Madrid CFF-Barça.