Spanish women agree to end boycott; RFEF commit to immediate change, but is Rocha staying?

September 20 – Most of Spain’s women’s World Cup-winning players ended their boycott of the national team early today following an overnight meeting with officials and a promise from the country’s football federation (RFEF) that it would make “immediate and profound changes”.

The players were among those who had reported for training on Tuesday after being picked by new coach Montse Tomé for upcoming Nations League games despite insisting they did not want to play in the latest twist to engulf Spanish football in the wake of the Luis Rubiales/Jenni Hermoso “kissgate” affair.

The players said they would not represent Spain again until they got their wish for structural reform. They could have faced sanctions including fines of up €30,000 and the suspension of their playing licences if they had refused the call-up.

Following a meeting Tuesday night lasting several hours involving the government’s top sports official, players, Tomé and federation officials, specific details of changes were not revealed but the president of the FUTPRO players’ union, Amanda Gutiérrez, said steps had been made toward establishing the same treatment for Spain’s women’s and men’s national teams.

“An agreement has been reached to make changes to the structure of women’s football, so that the executive and administrative staff will match that of the men’s team, to further professionalise the team and staff,” Gutiérrez said after all but two players agreed to end their revolt.

“The players see it as a rapprochement of positions. It is the beginning of a long road ahead of us.”

Víctor Francos, Spain’s Secretary for Sports, said the “cordial meetings” led to the creation of a new committee involving players, the federation and the government.

Among the demands by the players was to have interim president Pedro Rocha, who took over from Rubiales when the Spanish FA boss resigned, also step down but it unclear whether this was approved.

The overnight meeting ironically coincided with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino in New York to promote Spain’s joint bid with Portugal and Morocco to host the men’s World Cup in 2030.

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