We need to talk about Spain Women’s National Football Team

Credit: Sky News
Credit: Sky News

We need to talk about Spain Women’s National Football Team, thanks to recent controversies. They say that a week is a long time in sport, but rarely have we seen a football team go from ecstacy to disgrace so rapidly.

2023 really should’ve been the greatest ever year for Spanish female football, as La Roja’s ladies lifted their first FIFA Womens World Cup in Australia a few weeks ago. Despite all of the turmoil heading into this year’s World Cup, Spain defied the odds to beat England 1-0 in the final.

Luis Rubiales’ controversial kiss on Jennifer Hermoso meant that the celebrations of Spain would be cut incredibly short. This feeling of elation has been replaced with a battle between Rubiales and his family against Spain’s female footballers, politicians and the Spanish FA.

We need to talk about Spain Women’s National Football Team

We’re going to sum up everything that has happened so far and give our take for what is likely to happen next. In reality, this story began long before the events of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Rubiales has had a very controversial five years in charge of the Spanish FA, but recent events have dialed this up to eleven. Lowlights include sacking Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, getting accused of assaulting a woman in 2020 and alleged claiming of rent on expenses.

Image credit: Sky News

This is all while there have been alleged conflicts of interests regarding the Spanish Super Cup being played in Saudi Arabia and a high-profile battle with La Liga’s chief (both in 2022).

And that’s all without getting into the fact Rubiales grabbed his crotch while celebrating full-time in the World Cup final. Who was he sitting near? The Spanish Queen and her 16-year-old daughter, Princess Sofia.

The more you learn about Rubiales, the worse the man gets. The World Cup Final celebrations, as abhorrent as they were, has at least highlighted Rubiales’ sickening true self to a global audience.

The aftermath

Every action as controversial as this is bound to have several unequal and strong reactions. Hermoso commented on her Instagram that she didn’t “welcome” the kiss on the lips, which makes this a clear violation of her boundaries.

After this, in the dressing room, Rubiales had the perfect opportunity to apologise to Hermoso. Instead, he doubled down on the disrespect, reportedly saying “We will celebrate the wedding of Jenni and Luis Rubiales in Ibiza.” after putting his arm around her. What a creep.

Image credit: Eurosport

This was meant to be the proudest moment of these Spanish ladies’ careers and potentially mark the start of a golden generation for Spain’s Women’s National Team. It’s all been spoiled by someone that clearly has no respect for anybody aside from themselves, though.

Despite his subsequent public apology, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has called for Rubiales to resign. To their credit as well, Spain’s players have refused to play again until Rubiales resigns from his position. Even Spain’s regional football presidents have called for him to step down.

The most insane part of all of this though, is that Rubiales’ mother has gone on hunger strike and locked herself in a church until the “inhumane hunt” against her son ends. I think she’ll be waiting a long time.

What will happen next?

Predicting what will occur next in this saga is nigh-on impossible. Rubiales has stated that he won’t resign, despite being suspended for three months by the Spanish FA. He will go though, even the best leaders (which he certainly isn’t) cannot lead when everybody in their inner circle is against them.

Jorge Vilda, Spain’s manager, is far from innocent in all this as well. He’ll be the next head on the chopping block, as it’s been reported he asked Hermoso’s family if she would appear alongside Rubiales in an apology video. Unsurprisingly, they said no.

Image credit: Sky Sports

Spain’s next international fixture is against Sweden in the UEFA Nations League. That takes place on 22nd September, so less than a month from now. If Rubiales is still President, Spain will have no players to be able to compete in this game and it’ll be cancelled.

This needs to and will be resolved before then, the seat is simply too hot for Rubiales to sit back down in it anytime soon. Spain’s Secretary of Sport Victor Francos has said he wants this to be Spanish football’s “MeToo” moment and this has already rocked the foundations of the female game in Spain.

Despite their World Cup win, women’s football finds itself in a dark place right now in Spain. However, the beautiful game will emerge stronger than ever once the bad apples have been removed from the bunch.

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