The Spanish national women’s team is in disarray with 15 players demanding their head coach Jorge Vilda is sacked, saying they will refuse to play if he continues.
However, Spanish football’s governing body – the Royal Spanish Football Federation [RFEF] – are standing by the manager and have sent a warning to those involved in the attempted mutiny.
Fifteen players sent identical emails threatening not to play unless Vilda is fired as Spain boss, the RFEF said on Thursday night.
The players are claimed to be unhappy with Vilda’s management of injuries, a toxic atmosphere in the dressing room, team selection and his training sessions.
However, the RFEF has insisted they will not entertain this move from the players, warning them that deciding the future of their manager ‘does not fall within their powers’.
Chiefs also warned rebel players that refusing to honour a call-up for a national team was classified as a ‘very serious infraction and can carry sanctions of two and five years of disqualification’.
“The RFEF can confirm that, throughout today, we received 15 emails from 15 players of the women’s senior soccer team,” read a statement from the Spanish FA on Thursday.
“They state that the current situation affects ‘significantly’ their emotional state and their health and that, ‘as long as it is not reversed’, they resign from the Spanish national team.
“The RFEF is not going to allow the players to question the continuity of the national coach and his coaching staff, since making those decisions does not fall within their powers.”
The RFEF, which did not disclose the identities of the 15 players, said it fully supported the coach and that the players will only return to the team if they ‘recognise their mistake and ask for forgiveness’.
According to the Guardian, Manchester United players Ona Batlle and Lucía García and Manchester City duo Laia Aleixandri and Leila Ouahabi were among the 15 who sent emails demanding Vilda is sacked.
Spain are ranked eighth in the world in FIFA’s rankings, and made it as far to the quarter-finals at this summer’s European Championship, where they were beaten by England’s Lionesses after extra-time.