Spanish football drops the word ‘women’ from the national team’s title

By eliminating the phrase for “women’s football” from the name of its national team, the Spanish Football Federation is hoping to show it has made a “conceptual shift” in its view of the sport.

It remains to be seen if more countries will follow suit.

Spain made the move towards greater equality this week as part of an agreement between the governing body and its World Cup winning team. The two sides have been in dispute since former federation president Luis Rubiales kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy ceremony as Spain was crowned world champion in Australia last month.

The name for the women’s team traditionally included the phrase “de fútbol femenino” – translated as “women’s football” Going forward, the men’s and women’s national teams will both officially be known as “Selección Española de fútbol” or “Spain’s national football team.”

“More than a symbolic change, we want this to represent a conceptual shift, and recognition that football is football, regardless of who plays it,” the federation’s interim president Pedro Rocha said.

European football’s governing body, UEFA, has previously held informal discussions about how countries can handle such name issues, but no official proposal has been made.

Other countries, such as England and the United States, have created parity in the names by referring to them as the “men’s” and “women’s” national teams.

Spain’s players have successfully brought about change after weeks of open rebellion as they demanded thorough reform of the federation after Rubiales’ kiss and the reaction to his behaviour.

With Spanish football engulfed in crisis, Rubiales eventually stepped down and World Cup-winning coach Jorge Vilda was fired.

On Wednesday most of Spain’s players ended a boycott of the national team after the government intervened to help shape an agreement to make immediate changes at the federation.

The federation’s secretary general, Andreu Camps, who was considered to be close to Rubiales, was also relieved of his duties.

The reforms were cast as a way to help further professionalise women’s football in the country and promote equal pay.

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