Fifteen of Spain’s top female soccer players have resigned from the national team, saying their coach’s training methods are damaging their emotional state and health.
The Spanish Football Federation said in a statement on Thursday that it had received 15 emails from 15 players asking not to be selected, and that the players had a problem with national team coach Jorge Vilda and staff.
The federation said, “This is an unprecedented situation in the history of football, both male and female, in Spain and throughout the world.”
The players said in their resignation letters that the “current situation” had significantly affected their “emotional state and health”, according to the federation.
The players were unhappy with the management of injuries, the atmosphere in the dressing room, Vilda’s team selection and training, Reuters reported, citing sources close to the situation.
The Federation and the Spanish Football Association appear next to the coach.
The federation said it will not “allow the players to question the continuity of the national coach and his coach, as it is not within their competence to make such decisions”.
“The federation will not accept any kind of pressure from any player when taking sports measures. These types of maneuvers are far from exemplary and outside the values of football and sport and are harmful”, he added.
The Spanish Football Association added that the players would not be able to return to the national team “unless they accept their mistake and apologize”.
Revolt is a high-risk move for players. The federation said that refusing a call-up to a national team is a “very serious offence” and can lead to two to five-year bans.