Friday, September 29, 2023

Sarina Wiegman dedicates UEFA Coach of the Year award to Spain who ‘deserve to be listened to’ amid kiss controversy

Sarina Wiegman dedicated her UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year award to the Spanish national team amid ongoing controversy surrounding their football association president Luis Rubiales.

The coach of England’s women, who lost in the World Cup final to Spain, used her time on stage in Monaco to say their opponents ‘deserve to be listened to’.

Wiegman asked if she could speakTNT Sports

She paid tribute to SpainTNT Sports

And then led a round of applauseTNT Sports

The comments come amid a scandal at full-time in Australia when RFEF president Rubiales grabbed his crotch, and later was seen kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips.

Hermoso has since insisted that she did not consent to the kiss, and has received support from across Spain and the world of football, while Rubiales has refused to resign from his post.

Addressing the incident in Monte Carlo after collecting her award, Wiegman said: “Can I give a message please?

“First thanks for everyone voting, especially colleagues, it’s been very special and I’m really honoured, also thanks to everyone who’s involved with the Lionesses of course the team, the incredible team, and all the staff and everyone at the FA.

“But of course it feels a little bit different, we all know the issues around the Spanish team, and it really hurts me as a coach, as a mother of two daughters, as a wife and a human being. 

“We just talked about 1988 and the game has grown so much, but there’s also a long way to go in women’s football and in society, and I would like to dedicate this award to the Spanish team, the team that played in the World Cup such great football that everyone enjoyed.

“I was going to ask you to give this applause afterwards but this team deserves to be celebrated, and deserves to be listened to, and I again am going to give them a big applause, and I hope you will join me.”

Later on stage was World Cup winner Aitana Bonmati, who collected her Women’s Player of the Year award before addressing the Rubiales situation.

TNT SportsBonmati then gave her thoughts[/caption]

“I appreciate the words of Sarina Wiegman,” she began.

“These are not good times for Spanish football. The World Cup has not been held as it should be and I would not like to let the page turn.

“As a society, we must not allow abuses of power in work relations and a lack of respect. I am with my colleagues and with Jenni Hermoso.”

As things stand, Rubiales has so far held onto his post as president of the RFEF, despite the organisation telling him to step down. He has, though, been suspended by FIFA for 90 days.

Alongside his role at the Spanish FA, Rubiales is also one of UEFA’s vice-presidents, while the president, Aleksander Ceferin, was on stage for the awards.

Asked about the situation earlier in the day, Ceferin said: “Of course, what he did was inappropriate.

“We all know that. I hope he knows it was out of order. That’s enough for the time being because the disciplinary committee will decide.”

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