Spain and Sweden stage 'It's over' protest in Gothenburg

Spain's world champions and their Swedish opponents on Friday held up a banner with the slogan "It's over" in protest over the sexism scandal that has engulfed the Spanish soccer federation.

Spain won the UEFA Nations League clash in Gothenburg, 3-2, when Mariona Caldentey converted a penalty six minutes into stoppage time.

The pre-match protest came as the Spain team returned to action for the first time since lifting the World Cup where former federation chief Luis Rubiales kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips.

The 22 players held up the banner bearing the Spanish phrase "Se Acabo" ("It's over") adding that the struggle of the players against chauvinism and sexual assault was "the global fight" for equality between men and women.

Just before kickoff in Friday's Nations League game, the Spanish women also raised their fists to reveal wristbands which carried words of protest and support.

Most carried the same "Se Acabo" message, while others simply wrote "Jenni" or the number 10 of Hermoso's shirt.

Hermoso was not called up for the game by new coach Montse Tome to "protect her."
Nine of the 23 world champions who refused to return to the team since the Rubiales scandal broke, demanding profound changes within the Spanish Football Federation, finally started at kickoff on Friday.

"It's a very positive victory that manages to make you forget the days we've had," said Tome.   "It also means that we have players with incredible talent. They love what they do. What they know how to do is play soccer, and we have to make them feel they can really concentrate on the game."

* * * * *

UEFA Nations League, League A
Group A

Belgium 2 Netherlands 1. (Goals: Detruyer 61, Blom  90+3; Roord 60.)
England 2 Scotland 1. (Goals: Bronze  39, Hemp  45; Hanson  45+2.)
Group B
Norway 1 Austria 1. (Goals: Sævik 26; Campbell 72.)
France 2 Portugal 0. (Goals: Geyoro 27, Bacha  89.)
Group C
Denmark 2 Germany 0. (Goals: Vangsgaard 23, 64.)
Iceland 1 Wales 0. (Goal: Viggósdóttir 19.)
Group D
Sweden 2 Spain 3. (Goals: Eriksson  24, Hurtig  81; del Castillo  38, Navarro  77, Caldentey 90+6 pen.)
Switzerland 0 Italy 1. (Goal: Caruso 64.)

* * * * *

Magdalena Eriksson gave the hosts a 23rd-minute lead.  Athenea del Castillo leveled seven minutes before halftime. Eva Navarro put Spain ahead in the 77th minute but Lina Hurtig replied for Sweden.

Amanda Ilestedt of Sweden was shown a straight red card five minutes into added time conceding the penalty that Caldentey converted.

"It's been a difficult few days for all of us, but we've shown that we're a real team who want to represent our country and fight to the end," said Del Castillo, a Real Madrid striker.  "That's what counts. I hope that the changes underway will continue and that everything will go well. We were tired and didn't sleep well over the last few days, but I'm satisfied with the work we've done."

ti/eml/dj-pb Se acabó

© Agence France-Presse
3 comments about "Spain and Sweden stage 'It's over' protest in Gothenburg".
  1. Bob Ashpole, September 22, 2023 at 11:44 p.m.

    Tome was former coach Vilda's assistant and gave Rubiales a standing ovation just like Vilda did when Rubiales called Hermoso a liar. Unlike Vilda, she wasn't fired for it. Now she is not calling up Hermoso "to protect her".

    This scandal is far from over yet.

  2. Miriam Hickey replied, September 23, 2023 at 6:07 p.m.

    Watch the video, she did not applaud at all. But new coaching blood is probably needed to be able to move on from this train wreck.

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, September 24, 2023 at 1:49 a.m.

    In this video clip Tome is applauding at 0:18.

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