Spain players hold SEVEN-HOUR meeting with Spanish Football Federation after being called up against their will for national team duty… with two players leaving the training camp after showdown talks finished just before 5AM
- Spain players held a seven-hour meeting with their nation’s FA on Tuesday night
- The talks continued until just before 5AM, with two players deciding to leave
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’
Two female players have left Spain’s training camp after the team held showdown talks with their national federation into the early hours of Wednesday morning.
New manager Montse Tome named her first squad since Spain’s World Cup win earlier this week, but the players responded by reaffirming their intention to go on strike following the Luis Rubiales kiss-gate scandal last month.
Spanish FA president Rubiales kissed star striker Jenni Hermoso on the lips at the post-match presentation following Spain’s 1-0 win in the World Cup final against England. Following weeks of criticism for his behaviour, Rubiales eventually resigned, and is now facing charges of sexual assault and coercion.
Spain also sacked their manager Jorge Vilda in the wake of their World Cup win after complaints made by the squad about his coaching methods, and replaced him with Tome.
But the squad were still not happy, and made it clear that they did not want to represent their country until structural changes were made within the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
The players arrived for showdown talks with their nation’s FA on Tuesday evening
The team’s new manager Montse Tome (centre) also attended the meeting
Following a seven-hour meeting, two players decided to leave the team’s training camp, as confirmed by CSD president Victor Francos (pictured)
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The players were seen arriving for talks with the RFEF on Tuesday evening, while National Sports Council (CSD) members also attended the meeting.
The meeting lasted seven hours and finished at 4.40am on Wednesday morning, as the RFEF looked to find a compromise with the players.
Of the 22 players present at the meeting, 20 agreed to stay, but two have opted to leave the training camp.
CSD president Victor Francos announced the news in the early hours of Wednesday morning, but did not name the players that decided to leave.
He told reporters: ‘They have requested to leave the concentration due to lack of spirit and personal discomfort. They will communicate this and I hope that the same respect will be given to those who stay as for those who do not.’
It emerged on Tuesday that players can be disqualified from playing for their country for up to five years if they refuse to represent the national team, according to Spain’s Sports Law, but it remains to be seen whether such a severe punishment is pursued.
Meanwhile, the RFEF spoke positively about the discussions, claiming ‘deep conversations’ took place.
It is understood that a number of issues were discussed, including structural changes, making the women’s team more professional, and ensuring the team are treated with the same respect as their male counterparts.
The FUTPRO Union offered legal advice and acted as mediators during the talks. The union’s president Amanda Gutierrez suggested progress had been made, but admitted there is still work to be done following a tumultuous month for the national team.
‘It is considered a rapprochement of positions. It is the beginning of a long road that lies ahead of us,’ she said.
FUTPRO Union president Amanda Gutierrez (pictured) admitted there is still ‘a long road that lies ahead of us’, despite 20 players agreeing to stay with the national team
‘They, once again, have shown themselves to be coherent and the vast majority have decided to make the decision to stay for the sake of this agreement.’
The 20 players that have decided to remain part of Spain’s training camp will now be available for the team’s Nations League fixtures over the coming days.
Cristina Martín-Prieto has also been called up to replace the injured Esther Gonzalez, and is due to join up with the rest of the squad at their training base in Oliva on Thursday.
Spain travel to Sweden on Friday, before hosting Switzerland next Tuesday.
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