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Megan Rapinoe on Spain’s women football team: “we should all listen”

As the Spanish Football Federation stands with head coach Jorge Vilda, Megan Rapinoe supports the 15 women footballers calling for his replacement

Update:
As the Spanish Football Federation stands with head coach Jorge Vilda, Megan Rapinoe supports the 15 women footballers calling for his replacement
Tim NwachukwuAFP

Fifteen of Spain’s best women footballers have threatened to quit from the national team if their head coach, Jorge Vilda, isn’t dismissed. The players revealed that Vilda’s training methods are harming their emotional states and health.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said in a statement Thursday that it has received 15 emails from these players asking not to be selected in the team as they have an issue with Vilda and his staff. Captains Irene Paredes, Jenni Hermoso and Patri Guijarro, however, denied last month that they had asked for the coach’s resignation, and tension continues to build up between the players and the coach.

Federation supports coach

RFEF also said they would not fold to pressure from any player regarding coaching matters, labeling their actions as being “far from exemplary and out of the values of soccer and sport.”

They don’t even mind playing “with younger and less experienced players,” as they hold “the national team above everything,” said RFEF female football chief Ana Alvarez. “This is very, very serious and has never happened before, hence it’s unexpected.”

Rapinoe on the Spanish athletes: “we should all listen”

Two-time World Cup winner and US Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe jumped to support the athletes on Thursday night. The legendary star took to Instagram posting “You got a 16th [player] standing with you in [US flag emoji] This many players together like this is so powerful. We should all listen.”

Even with the severity of the situation, Vilda, who has been in charge since 2015 and is under contract until 2024, has the federation’s full support. Alvarez said “Jorge Vilda is like we all are,” adding that he wants to continue being in charge, and “for sure we want him to continue.”

Spain has two friendly matches coming up, on Oct. 7 against Sweden, and four days later against the United States.

Vilda led the Spanish team to the quarterfinals of Euro 2022 before losing in extra-time to England.

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