Spain's women's team reports for training under threat of sanctions
Spain's World Cup-winning women's team reports for training under the threat of sanctions, after refusing to play for the national team until further changes are made at the Spanish football federation.
Some of Spain's World Cup-winning women's squad who have promised to boycott the team reported for training on Tuesday under the threat of being sanctioned, despite their refusal to play for the national team until further changes are made at the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
The players, including Misa Rodriguez, Olga Carmona, Oihane Hernandez, Eva Navarro, and Tere Abelleira, had previously said they would not play for the team until further changes are applied at the RFEF, following a series of allegations of sexism and mismanagement.
However, on Monday, the RFEF announced the squad for the upcoming Women's Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland and includes 15 of the players who had previously threatened to boycott.
The players were escorted by police at Madrid's airport as they headed for a training camp near Valencia.
When asked if she was happy to have been selected for the team, Misa Rodriguez replied, "No."
As she walked through Barcelona airport, Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas said she and her teammates felt "bad". "How else would it be?" she added.
The players' decision to report for training comes after the Spanish government threatened to apply sanctions against them if they refused to play. Under Spanish law, players who are selected for the national team are obliged to go. If players opt out of participating in the national team's events they could face fines of up to 30,000 euros ($32,000) and the suspension of their federation license for two to 15 years.
The RFEF has been under intense pressure since the World Cup after calls for the resignation of Luis Rubiales and Jorge Vilda intensified.
The Spanish government has said it supports the players' push for changes but also wants Spain to qualify for the Olympic Games.