First Mexico, now Spain.
Spain’s 23 World Cup players issued a collective statement on Friday calling for the end of Ignacia Quereda’s reign as head coach. The 65-year-old Quereda has been in charge of Spain’s women’s national team since its inception in 1988. This was Spain’s first World Cup, which La Roja exited in the group stage, earning just one point in a draw with fellow debutantes Costa Rica.
The complete statement, via Spanish outlet AS, reads as follows:
Following our elimination from the World Cup, we feel it is the right moment to evaluate our own participation in the event and draw conclusions. Both individually and collectively, the 23 players who form part of Spain’s Women’s team have made a self-critical assessment of our performance and we recognize that it could have been much better. This generation of players has the talent and commitment to have gone further in Canada.
In spite of that, and while assuming our own responsibility for our early exit, we would also like to publicly air the general feeling of the group, of all 23 of us. It is evident that the preparation for these World Cup finals was not adequate, there were insufficient pre-tournament friendlies, we were given limited time to acclimatize on arrival in Canada and the analysis of our opponents and the way the team prepared for our matches was simply not good enough – and that has been the case for a long time now. We believe that we have reached the end of an era and change is required. We have expressed these feelings to the coach and his technical team. Once confidence is lost and the ability to connect and transmit ideas to the squad is gone, it is very difficult for objectives to be reached.
We still have a long road to go down and many doors will open along the way. This is a great moment for our sport – with many challenges and dreams lying ahead, which is why we feel that it is our joint responsibility to set the path we know we have to take. We will see where we get to and how we get on.”
Spain’s all-time leading scorer, Laura Del Rio, didn’t play in this World Cup because of a longstanding rift between her and Quereda.
Prior to the tournament, Spain captain Veronica Boquete spoke to The Equalizer about how getting out of the group could change the perception of women’s football in Spain. Players were hoping for social change, not just victories on the field.
Earlier this week, Mexico forward Charlyn Corral said her coach, Leo Cuellar, needed to step aside to help move Mexico forward. Cuellar has been in charge of Mexico since 1998, but is yet to win a World Cup match in nine tries.
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