Spain Women will now be called the ‘Spanish Football Team’ as its FA reveal gender-neutral rebrand with the men’s side – after crunch talks with World Cup winners amid ‘kiss-gate’ scandal

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) has announced a rebrand of the names of its women’s team in the wake of seven hours of crisis talks with the members of the squad in the early hours of Wednesday morning. 

Incoming national team manager Monste Tome named a full-strength squad for Spain’s round of international fixtures in September despite a number of the players called up publicly boycotting playing for their country. 

The players arrived at camp unwillingly out of fear of future disqualifications, making it clear that they were not happy to represent their country until structural changes were made. 

But their arrival gave way to discussions with representatives from the RFEF on Tuesday evening, with the meeting also attended by the National Sports Council as the federation worked to de-escalate tensions between the two parties. 

A compromise is thought to have been reached, and on Wednesday afternoon, the RFEF announced the first of an anticipated number of changes in light of the players’ calls for a structural overhaul

The RFEF has made the first of its proposed structural changes in the wake of discussions with members of Spain’s women’s team

Both the men's and women's sides will be unified under the same name (pictured, Spain men's head coach Luis de la Fuente)

Both the men’s and women’s sides will be unified under the same name (pictured, Spain men’s head coach Luis de la Fuente)

Interim president Pedro Rocha has made it clear that context will be able to differentiate between the two teams

Interim president Pedro Rocha has made it clear that context will be able to differentiate between the two teams

As per a statement issued by the federation, the RFEF will rename the Spanish women’s team – formerly Seleccion Espanola de Futbol Femenina, or Spain women’s national football team – to Seleccion Espanola de Futbol, or Spanish national football team, which is how the men’s national team is referred to. 

Unifying the two teams, interim RFEF president Pedro Rocha has said, will not only act as a symbolic gesture of equality but open the door to a changed attitude and action around the women’s set-up. 

He said: ‘Beyond a symbolic step, we want it to imply a change in concept, and the recognition that football is football, practiced whoever practices it.’

The branding and logos will be the same for both teams, and the women’s team will also have a star above the badge, in recognition of their World Cup victory. 

The same measures will be taken in futsal, and in beach soccer. 

Pedro added: ‘We do not need, on any medium, to differentiate the brands of both teams; Depending on the context, depending on the images that accompany the logo, it is perfectly understood whether we are referring to our champions or our champions.’

It is understood that a number of issues were discussed during the late night talks, including structural changes, making the women’s team more professional, and ensuring the team are treated with the same respect as their male counterparts.

The FUTPRO Union offered legal advice and acted as mediators during the talks. The union’s president Amanda Gutierrez suggested progress had been made, but admitted there is still further work to be done.

‘It is considered a rapprochement of positions. It is the beginning of a long road that lies ahead of us,’ she said.

The women's team will have a star added to their crest in recognition of their World Cup win

The women’s team will have a star added to their crest in recognition of their World Cup win

Only Patri Guijarro (left) and Mapi Leon (right) left the Spain camp after the RFEF assured players they would not receive suspensions for their boycott

Only Patri Guijarro (left) and Mapi Leon (right) left the Spain camp after the RFEF assured players they would not receive suspensions for their boycott

The federation continues to be embroiled in the fallout of the World Cup final’s ‘kiss-gate scandal’, with news breaking on Wednesday that shamed former president Luis Rubiales pressured a Spanish FA employee to say that Jenni Hermoso consented to the kiss he gave her ahead of the trophy presentation in August.  

All but two of the squad called up by Tome have remained in the camp in the wake of the talks, with Mapi Leon and Patri Guijarro the only two players to walk away from the set-up. 

‘It is a reality that our situation is different from that of the rest of our colleagues. We know that there have been no ways or means of returning. All of this is a process. We are happy because it is true that the changes are occurring,’ Leon told reporters.

Leon and Guijarro were two of the players to boycott Spain’s World Cup campaign in the wake of sending the letter of protest against the RFEF and sacked head coach Jorge Vilda in September 2022. 

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Source From: Football | Mail Online

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