Spain boss Vilda vows to carry on as rebellion forces his hand for double-header

Spain boss Vilda vows to carry on as rebellion forces his hand for double-header

Jorge Vilda insisted he has no plans to resign as head coach of the Spain women’s team after a player rebellion forced him to name a massively under-strength squad on Friday.

The besieged boss left captain Irene Paredes and record scorer Jenni Hermoso out of his group for high-profile friendlies against Sweden and the United States, while 15 others last week wrote to the Spanish federation – the RFEF – to say they were unwilling to play for Vilda.

At the time, the group of players said by email the decision was taken for the sake of their “emotional state”.

Vilda spoke at length about the crisis in a press conference, shortly after revealing his weakened squad list for the October 7 game against Sweden, and the USA match, which takes place four days later.

The reasoning behind the players’ stance has yet to be crystallised. Vilda may by now have some sense of their concerns, after admitting he was initially “confused”, but he would not detail any recent discussions.

His view is that he should be allowed to continue in his role, and when asked if he had at any stage considered quitting, his answer was unequivocal.

“At no time,” he said. “Because of the unfairness and because of everything we have created in the past. Because of the energy and strength that I have to continue.”

He urged the players who have opposed playing for him to front up, saying: “I would like them to say face to face why they have made that decision and why they disagree.”

Vilda declined to speak about Hermoso and Paredes, saying he preferred to discuss the players he had selected. Hermoso came out in support of the rebels on Wednesday, while Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, who is currently injured, has also backed the disenchanted players’ stance.

Defender Paredes and playmaker Putellas are Barcelona players, while striker Hermoso is with Mexican club Pachuca.

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