Friday, September 22, 2023

The hours that marked the definitive break between footballers and the Federation

Since the Spanish team won the World Cup, there have been many—too many—moments that have changed the history of Spanish sport forever. The umpteenth example is everything experienced this Tuesday, where the relationship between footballers and the Federation has been broken forever.

The national team’s soccer players woke up with Jenni Hermoso’s statement. Her partner, who has not been called up on Montse Tomé’s first list, denied the national coach and accused the Spanish Federation of “intimidate and threaten” to the world champion players by summoning them against their will to play two matches in the Nations League. “The players are very clear that it is another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate and threaten us with legal repercussions and economic sanctions,” the player, currently in the Mexican Pachuca, said in a statement on Twitter.

The key day arrived, it was time to make a decision and the news that came from the lawyers was not good. They could not find a legal safe conduct to avoid economic and federative sanctions (suspension of the record). Although the players went to bed convinced that it would not be necessary to pack their bags to attend the national team’s call, as the hours passed, that option was disappearing and they had to face a harsh reality. They had no escape. The Federation had won the first fight, putting them between a rock and a hard place once again. However, not everything was yet said.

Before they considered the battle lost, the RFEF made an a priori incomprehensible move: they moved the call from Madrid to Valencia and sent new travel plans for the footballers. The situation was delirious. Two hours before the arrival deadline, the Federation designated Oliva, specifically the Oliva Nova Beach & Golf resort, as its base of operations. As EL PERIÓDICO DE CATALUNYA learned, from the Ibérica press group, the reassignment of the headquarters was not coincidental and attends to an attempt to bring positions closer together. The Federation decided to move the concentration to the late morning from Madrid to Valencia after being advised by the Higher Sports Council. The Government has suggested to the RFEF that it hold the concentration in a neutral space to help negotiation and good practices for international competitions.

The women’s coach, Montse Tomé, and the players who have attended the Hotel La Alameda head to the bus to head to Valencia, this Tuesday in Madrid. EFE

The feeling was one of stupefaction, also within the Federation, since the coaching staff was still scheduled at 11 a.m. at the Alameda de Baraja Hotel (Madrid). “They are all dizzy, very saturated. They don’t understand anything,” sources close to the soccer players told EL PERIÓDICO. Montse Tomé arrived there, the first of the staff members to introduce herself. With a smile on her face and without wanting to give details to the press gathered there, the coach, She seemed confident and convinced that those summoned would show up.

AND, against the will of the footballers, That’s how it went. The first to arrive were the Real Madrid players and world champions Athenea del Castillo, Misa Rodríguez and Olga Carmona. The faces were very different between the players. While Misa said with a resounding “No” that she was not at all happy with Tomé’s list, Athenea del Castillo came in smiling. She is the only one who was considered eligible of the 23 internationals. Minutes later they entered Oihane Hernandez, Eva Navarro and Tere Abelleira to close the expedition that would end up taking the Federation bus, with long faces and some grimaces, to go to the Adolfo Suárez Airport and fly to Valencia.

The eight Barça players summoned, however, they have experienced a much more surreal journey. In the first travel plan marked by the Federation They were going to travel to the capital of the Valencia Community in Euromed in tourist class. She was expecting them around six in the afternoon. Minutes later, however, all that planning changed in a few minutes and the Blaugranas arrived at around four in the afternoon at T1 of the Prat Airport.

While the players from Madrid unpacked their bags at the concentration hotel in Oliva, those from Barcelona They stepped into the El Prat airport to take your plane to Valencia, departing at 5 p.m. Before that, however, Alexia She was the only one to speak out, albeit in a brief and ironic way, before the cameras that were awaiting her arrival. The Barça captain has been forceful and sincere, and she has recognized that is “wrong” because of everything what has surrounded this call for the national team.

Asked how the players feel about everything surrounding this call, Alexia Putellas responded: “Well, how is it going to be?“. The journalists who went to the Barcelona airport asked him about Jenni Hermoso, who was one of his greatest supporters in the World Cup. Mollet’s was sarcastic. “Protect Jenni from what? If everything is fine, right?“, asked the Barcelona player, who confirmed that she had spoken with Jennifer Hermoso but that she was not going to comment on it.

All this happened minutes before passing the security check and while Cata Coll, Mariona Caldentey, Ona Batlle, Aitana Bomatí, Mapi León, Patri Guijarro and Irene Paredes They were heading to the boarding gate. However, a new obstacle was about to appear for the internationals, who came to the concentration due to legal imperative. The plane in which they were to travel to Valencia broke down before takeoff and it took almost two hours to head to Valencia, and then take an hour by road to reach the nerve center of the concentration.

Víctor Francos was already waiting at the concentration hotel when the Catalan team landed. On the way out of the airport, Mapi León, who is part of ‘the 15’ and at no time has given his arm to twist, remaining uncallable even for the World Cup, told the microphones about the unfair situation they are experiencing. “I believe that my position has been very clear, at no time have I changed my mind. I have given up a lot. We would have to talk at length about whether the place is safe or not safe when they are forcing us. If it is to go or sanction we will have to come clearly“, expressed the Aragonese, who wonders – full of irony – what they and Jenni have to protect themselves if they are being called back to the Federation. “On the protection of Jenni Hermoso: “That is the question we have to ask ourselves “Everyone, what do we have to protect ourselves from?”

Once at the resort where the players are gathered, a meeting took place between the soccer players and the president of the CSD. A meeting that is expected to be long.


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