15 Players from Spain's Women's National Team Resign in Protest Against Jorge Vilda

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 22, 2022

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 06: Jorge Vilda, Head Coach of Spain looks on during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 Qualifier group B match between Spain and Ukraine at Ciudad del Futbol de Las Rozas on September 06, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Angel Martinez/Getty Images

The Spain women's national football team saw 15 players resign in protest of head coach Jorge Vilda remaining in his position, via Sean Walsh of 90Min.

B/R Football @brfootball

15 players of Spain's women's national team emailed the Spanish FA stating they resign because Jorge Vilda remains coach. <br><br>The Spanish FA responded that they won't let players pressure them to make coaching decisions and they won't call up those players who do not wish to play. <a href="https://t.co/SE3GsX1s2b">pic.twitter.com/SE3GsX1s2b</a>

The Real Federación Española de Fútbol confirmed it received 15 emails from players, all with the same wording, noting the situation has "significantly" affected their "emotional state." The federation also indicated it will not make a change despite the resignations:

"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 Federation will not admit any type of pressure from any player when adopting sports measures. These types of manoeuvres are far from exemplary and outside the values ​​of football and sport and are harmful."

Vilda has been Spain's head coach since 2015, and his contract was extended through 2024 in June.

The 41-year-old has failed to live up to expectations during this time, however, even with the team currently No. 8 in the world rankings.

Spain lost in the quarterfinals at the last two European championships, including this past summer at Euro 2022 when many considered the squad to be a favorite in the tournament. The team also lost in the round of 16 at the 2019 World Cup and failed to qualify for the last two Olympic tournaments.

Heading into the 2023 World Cup, there are clear questions about the team's leadership.

A report from El Confidencial (h/t GiveMeSport's Nancy Gillen) initially said the team's leaders called for Vilda's removal in August, although Irene Paredes clarified that they simply voiced complaints from the players.

"We are an ambitious team and people want to improve and win," Paredes said. "We believe that there are several internal aspects that need to be improved. We all would have liked the conversation to have stayed inside, but it has been leaked. What it is about is being brave and saying things, even if they are not pleasant and they change. And that’s what we’ve done."

The mass resignation indicates the level of upheaval Spain is currently dealing with.

The team is scheduled to face Sweden and the United States in a pair of friendlies in October.