Senior Spanish officials to go in wake of Football World Cup kiss row

Senior Spanish officials to go in wake of Football World Cup kiss row
Women holds scarf in protest against Spanish Football Federation
Women holds scarf in protest against Spanish Football Federation
Between six and nine senior officials of Spain's football federation (RFEF) will be invited to leave their jobs or will be sacked as part of a deal to end a threatened player boycott of the national team, a federation source told Reuters.

The move comes after mutinous players said in a statement last week that they would refuse to play for the national team while people who "incited, hid or applauded attitudes that go against women's dignity" remained part of the federation.

It was not immediately clear when the personnel changes would take effect. Reuters has been unable reach the representatives of those on the list for comment.

Pablo Garcia, a spokesman for the RFEF, did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment.

Spanish football has been in turmoil since Luis Rubiales, then the RFEF chief, kissed midfielder Jenni Hermoso (33) on the lips during the World Cup presentation ceremony on August 20.

His actions outraged players, government officials and many in wider Spanish society and raised questions over sexism in sport. Rubiales, who resigned on September 10, appeared before a judge on Monday to face a complaint of sexual assault over the kiss.

The list of RFEF departures was drawn up during a marathon meeting between the players, their FUTPRO union, members of the Spanish National Sports Council (CSD), and the RFEF's head of women's' football Rafael Del Amo, which ended early on Wednesday.

Some of the names were put forward by the players themselves, the source added.


The meeting was held in a hotel outside Valencia, in southeastern Spain, where the team's training camp had been moved to shield the players from media scrutiny in the build up to a game Spain is scheduled to play in Sweden on Friday.

The players had asked to be left out of Friday's Nation's League match in Gothenburg - Spain's first as world champions - after being included in the squad against Sweden.

Under Spanish law, they faced sanctions including fines of up 30,000 euros ($32,000) and a de facto playing ban of two to 15 years if they had refused to take the field.

Earlier on Wednesday, CSD President Victor Francos said a joint commission would be set up between RFEF, CSD and the players which would be tasked with following up on the deal.

"The players have expressed their concern about the need for profound changes in the RFEF, which has committed to making these changes immediately," he told reporters early on Wednesday.

The RFEF said the word "female" would be removed from the women's national team's official brand to harmonise it with the men's squad. From now on, both will be known as "Spanish national football team".

"Beyond it being a symbolic step, we want it to be a change of concept and the recognition that football is football, no matter who plays it," RFEF President Pedro Rocha said, adding this would promote a more egalitarian concept of the sport.


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