Sunday, 03 Dec, 2023


Sweden's players stand in solidarity with Spain

Sports Desk |
Update: 2023-09-23 13:32:09
Sweden's players stand in solidarity with Spain [photo collected]

Sweden and Spain players stood together in solidarity before their Uefa Women's Nations League meeting on Friday, following the scandal which has engulfed Spanish football.

Both sets of players held a banner reading "se acabo" which translates to English as "it's over", a phrase used on social media amid the scandal.

The banner also read "our fight is the global fight", and the Spanish players were applauded onto the field for their warm-ups by the home fans in Gothenburg.

The Spanish players also wore wristbands with "se acabo" written on them, for what was a rematch of the World Cup semi-final which Spain won 2-1 in Auckland in August.

The game itself was an entertaining spectacle, with Spain winning 3-2 thanks to a penalty in injury time, scored by Mariona Caldentey after Amanda Ilestedt brought down Amaiur Sarriegi, for which the Arsenal summer signing was sent off.

Earlier former Chelsea centre-back Magdalena Eriksson, who made her 100th appearance for Sweden and was honoured in a special presentation before the game, headed the hosts in front.

Athenea del Castillo equalised for Spain before half-time when her 20-yard shot was mishandled by Sweden keeper Zecira Musovic, the ball spiralling over the Chelsea player and into the net.

Eva Navarro put Spain 2-1 ahead after the break with a thunderous effort which was celebrated by the players in a group hug - a gesture of togetherness following the events of recent weeks - however Sweden pulled level through Arsenal midfielder Lina Hurtig before the late penalty drama.

Spain take an early lead in Group A4, which also involves Italy and and Switzerland. The pool winners qualify for next year's finals tournament, which will also decide participants in the 2024 Olympics.

Spain play after weeks of controversy
This game was the first for the Spain women's national team since beating England 1-0 in the final at Stadium Australia.

Following the final, former president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF) Luis Rubiales kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy presentation ceremony. Hermoso said the kiss was not consensual, setting off a remarkable chain of events.

Both Rubiales and World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda were eventually sacked, while the Spanish players threatened a boycott of the game against Sweden.

The boycott was only called off after reaching an agreement with the RFEF on Wednesday, which said it had committed to "immediate and profound changes."

Rubiales has been banned from going within 200 metres of Hermoso after she filed a legal complaint. Appearing in court for the first time last Friday, Rubiales denied sexually assaulting Hermoso.

Source: BBC

BDST: 1331 HRS, SEP 23, 2023

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