15 Players of Women’s Spanish National Soccer Team Boycott Playing in Protest Against Head Coach

By Liz Kavanagh

The head coach of Spain’s Women’s National Soccer Team, Jorge Vilda, who has coached Spain for around 7 years, has received many complaints by 15 of his own players saying that his coaching mechanisms are very detrimental to “their emotional state and their health.”

Captain of the women’s national team, Irene Paredes, comes forward to speak about her experiences with the team and states that “As a team, we are super-ambitious, and we want to improve. We want to win, and we believe there are certain internal aspects that need to change.” Many players on the team said that they want their practices to be more challenging and some are even questioning coach Vilda’s ability to coach such a high level team due to lack of qualification.

15 players wrote emails to the The Royal Spanish Football Federation in hopes to see some active change in their coach’s strategies but the reaction from the federation, on the other hand, was not what they had expected. Instead of dealing with the complaints and assessing them further, the federation decided to not fire Vilda and even forced the players to apologize for these letters of accusation if they wanted to continue playing on the team. The women of Vilda’s team also received a clear warning that any further actions could lead to a two to five year suspension from the team, no questions asked.

On top of this, Jorge Vilda had left these 15 players off of the roster for the following games and his excuse was that “they had never come to me about their concerns.” Vilda also states that “We’re embarrassing ourselves in front of the world when we should instead be proud of our national team.” and even trusts that the federation will not let him be fired and continue to coach these women, qualified or not. While missing some of the biggest upcoming soccer stars due to his decision, the future for the Spain’s Women’s National Team is in question.

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