Barcelona won the Spanish Supercup twice in January, but the difference between the presentation of the medals and the trophy for the men’s and the women’s finals could not have been more stark.
Xavi Hernandez’s side were given a stage, fireworks and all of the fanfare in Saudi Arabia, while in Merida (Extremadura), Jonatan Giraldez’s team were barely given a stall. As if the difference in venues was not enough, the ceremony itself given by the Spanish Football Federation looked lazy at best.
President Luis Rubiales and the RFEF came under heavy criticism for the difference between the two, and Rubiales has now admitted that it was a terrible day for them.
“It was a tremendous s***show,” Rubiales admitted to Relevo.
“In terms of image, it was disastrous. I told the protocol person that it was awful. When the trophy delivery begins, it was said that it will be done the same as for the boys. Five days before the male one was delivered and compared with the women’s one. With the sensitivity that exists, that image buries you. Neither girls nor boys have to do it. It was a tremendous s***show. I said that this should not happen again.”
Fútbol masculino / Fútbol femenino.
Supercopa de España.
Entrega de medallas.
— Gabriel Rufián (@gabrielrufian) January 22, 2023
“I have absorbed the blow and I accept it. We came in with 44,000 women’s licenses [registered players] and now there are 100,000. [But] An image like that buries you. I endured the downpour for a week. The protocol department made a mistake. What happened was explained.”
Curiously enough, he did not suggest that they move the venue. Despite claiming that significant progress has been made over women’s rights in Saudi Arabia since their partnership with them over the men’s Supercup, there seems to be little hint of the women’s being played there – not that most people would want it to be.
However hosting the final in Badajoz, although a showcase event for the rarely considered Extremadura, showed little desire to make a big deal of the final. As has been shown in 2022, had the match been hosted at the Civitas Metropolitano, Santiago Bernabeu or any other major ground in Spain, women’s football is capable of attracting the fans to fill it.