Spain’s players deny the dismissal of national team coach Jorge Vilda


Spain’s players insist they have never called for head coach Jorge Vilda to be sacked – and have contacted the governing body for making their concerns public.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation said it had received 15 emails from players refusing to continue representing their country under Vilda.

According to the national governing body, the players had claimed that Vilda’s regime was affecting their “health” and “emotional state” and that “unless it is reversed, they are retiring from the Spain national team”.

The players reportedly agreed to press for the departure of Vilda, who has been in the role since 2015, shortly after their loss to England in the Euro 2022 quarter-finals due to his coaching methods and tactics.

The RFEF said the players could be disqualified for up to five years and would only be allowed to play again “if they accept their mistake and ask for forgiveness,” adding that the players would be replaced by others from the national team’s lower age groups.

Later on Friday, the players issued a joint response on social media, which spoke of Manchester United defender Ona Batlle and Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas, the 2021 Ballon d’Or winner, who died due to a forced out of Euro 2022 after a serious knee injury.

Manchester United defender Ona Batlle was part of the Spain side that were beaten by England at Euro 2022 (Adam Davy/PA)

(PA wire)

The players said they “never asked for the sacking of the coach”, adding “that our job is by no means to choose the position”.

The group stressed their disappointment “that the RFEF has published, in part and with interest, a private communication containing information affecting our health.”

The players clarified “that by no means have we resigned from the Spanish team, as emphasized by the RFEF in their official statement.”

The group’s message continued: “As we said in our private communication, we have maintained, will continue to maintain and will continue to have an undeniable commitment to the Spanish national team.

Spain head coach Jorge Vilda has put his position to the test (Gareth Fuller/PA)

(PA wire)

“Therefore, in our message to the RFEF, we ask that we only be called up in situations that could affect our emotional and personal state, our performance and thus the results of the team and lead to unwanted injuries. These would be the reasons that lead us to this decision.

“We want a firm commitment to a professional project, taking all aspects into account to get the best performance from a group of players with whom we believe more and better goals can be achieved.

“We wish the RFEF, the women’s national team and ourselves in particular the best without engaging in public wars.”

The statement concluded: “Out of our ambition as players, fighters and winners, we simply want to be able to achieve maximum professional and personal success again.

“Last but not least, we will not tolerate the infantilizing tone with which the RFEF concludes its statement.

“We regret that we have to go to this extreme in relation to women’s sport, as has unfortunately happened in other national teams and other sports historically on a global scale, in order to advance in a powerful and ambitious professional project for the present and for future generations .”

Manchester City have two Spain internationals in their squad, defender Laia Aleixandri and left-back Leilia Ouahabi, who also shared the players’ statement on her personal Twitter account.

Asked about the situation ahead of Sunday’s Women’s Super League game at Chelsea, City boss Gareth Taylor said at a news conference: “[I’ve had]a few discussions with the players involved. They are fine.

“A lot of these conversations are difficult for me because I don’t know many details. I’ve spoken to the girls just more for support and they’re fine.

“They enjoy life in our club. Hopefully that can be resolved for them and the rest of the players on the international stage.” Spain’s players deny the dismissal of national team coach Jorge Vilda

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