Spain’s women’s national team is in disarray with 15 players demanding their head coach Jorge Vilda be sacked, saying they will refuse to play if he continues.
However, the governing body of Spanish football – the Royal Spanish Football Federation [RFEF] – stand with the official and sent a warning to those involved in the attempted mutiny.
Fifteen players have sent identical emails threatening not to play unless Vilda is sacked as Spain boss, the RFEF announced on Thursday night.
Players say they are unhappy with Vilda’s injury management, toxic dressing room atmosphere, squad selection and her training sessions.
However, the RFEF insisted they would not accept the move from the players, warning them that deciding their manager’s future “is not within their power”.
The chiefs also warned rebel players that refusing to honor a national team call-up was classed as a “very serious offense and may result in penalties of two and five years disqualification”.
“The RFEF can confirm that throughout the day we have received 15 emails from 15 players of the senior women’s football team,” read a statement from the Spanish FA on Thursday.
“They state that the current situation is ‘significantly’ affecting their emotional state and health and that ‘until it reverses’ they are resigning from the Spanish national team.
“The RFEF will not allow players to question the continuity of the national coach and his technical staff, as making these decisions is outside their powers.”
The RFEF, which did not reveal the identities of the 15 players, said it fully supported the coach and that the players would only return to the squad if they “acknowledged their mistake and asked 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 15 who sent emails demanding Vilda be sacked.
Spain are ranked eighth in the world in the FIFA rankings and qualified for the quarter-finals of this summer’s European Championship, where they were beaten by the Lionesses of England after extra time.