Medal of Honour winner Putellas doubles down on call for gender equality and an end to abuse

September 14 – Spain midfielder Alexia Putellas has called on authorities to show “courage and leadership” to eliminate lack of respect in the women’s game. 

The world champion and back-to-back Ballon d’Or winner referenced the Luis Rubiales saga – the Spanish FA president’s kiss on the lips of Putellas’ team-mate Jenni Hermoso eventually resulting in his resignation – after she was presented with the Medal of Honour by the Catalan Parliament on Wednesday, honouring Barcelona’s women’s team after a highly successful season when they won the Primera Division and the Women’s Champions League.

In her acceptance speech, Putellas commented: “We feel passion for our job, that of being soccer players. We are here to stay, to help those who will come because there is still a long way to go.”

Institutions, she added, must show “courage and leadership” to stop women suffering a “lack of respect or abuse”.

“Our commitment to women’s sport and society is unquestionable, but we need more help to keep growing, so that this is not just a fad. And here, if I may, I would like to demand more support for women’s football, more and better facilities, more pitches and more investment at grassroots level.

“Institutions must ensure that everyone, boys and girls alike, have the same opportunities to play football. We want all the girls who come after us to have the tools they need to enjoy themselves, to play, to win.

“We are here to stay, to help those that come after us, because there is still a long way to go, as we are seeing these days with the serious situation we are facing with the [RFEF] and the changes we are all asking for so that no woman, inside or outside football, ever has to live a situation of disrespect or abuse.

“We need consensus, courage and leadership from the institutions. We will not stop here, those who fought before us deserve it, we deserve it for the effort we make every day and all the girls and boys who today dream of being like us deserve it. We will not fail you.”

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