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For Spanish female footballers, the fight for better treatment conditions continues

For the first time since its World Cup coronation, the Spanish women’s football team is reunited with its audience. Tuesday September 26, at 9 p.m., La Roja faces Switzerland, in Cordoba, during the second day of the group stages of the League of Nations. However, the time is not completely for celebration: tensions persist with the Royal Federation (RFEF) and the players’ struggle to improve their working conditions continues.

The affair of the forced kiss of Luis Rubiales – then president of the RFEF – to international Jenni Hermoso, after the victorious world final over England, was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” and highlighted “systematic discrimination”, summarized the double Golden Ball Alexia Putellas, in a press conference on the eve of the match against Sweden last week. If the players obtained, at the beginning of September, after days of standoff, the departure of Luis Rubiales and coach Jorge Vilda, they do not intend to stop there. Even if it means leading a real revolution.

“We denounce attitudes and behaviors that cannot be tolerated in any professional environmentcontinued the FC Barcelona midfielder. We have often been treated like little girls, even though we are all women, professionals, who play football. »

Because the macho aggression of the former leader of the RFEF was an opportunity to put back on the table numerous demands made for more than a year. The players are fighting against previously unworthy salary conditions – with an annual minimum salary limited to 16,000 euros –, flights scheduled by the Federation at 3 a.m. the day before big matches, endless bus journeys when the others selections travel by plane, a dictatorial and infantilizing control of the team, forcing them to sleep with the door open for example…

A final mark of contempt

In September 2022, fifteen players announced they were withdrawing from the selection to warn of an already untenable situation. On September 7, almost all of the 23 players crowned in Australia resumed this bitter and unfinished fight, due to not having been taken seriously at the time. On the 15th, with no prospect of progress, they specified in a press release that they did not wish to be called up for the next La Roja matches.

Ignoring their request, their new coach draws up a first list of call-ups for the League of Nations, including fifteen world champions. Appointed to replace Jorge Vilda, whose deputy she was, Montse Tomé assures that she spoke to them about it in advance; which several of the interested parties dispute. Jenni Hermoso is not in the group. “The best way to protect her is not to summon her”, Montse Tomé then justifies himself. “ Protect me from who? What ?, replies the striker on her social networks. This is another strategy of division and manipulation. »

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