Investigation uncovers grim situation for women in Spanish sport – ‘She needs you to f*** her’

A recent study into inequality in Spanish sport has turned up some depressing results, following on from the Luis Rubiales kiss scandal and the aftermath within the RFEF.

EPE have carried some of the testimonies into a government study carried out which was gathered from dozens of women in sport. Included in the study are 16 high-level athletes, 6 women in the organisation and management of sports, 3 sports journalists and 2 experts on the matter with a background in women’s sport. One particular testimony is stood out as particularly shocking.

“A coach once made a mistake and, instead of sending a message to my psychologist, in a competition in which I was having a hard time, he made a mistake and sent it to me. And what the message said was ‘what she needs is for you to fuck her.’ From that point on, my relationship with my coach, in whom I trusted one hundred percent, was horrible… That to improve my mentality my psychologist had to sleep with me, it was very shocking.”

Amongst some of the key issues highlighted are menstruation, comments about body shape and clear disrespectful practices in comparison to the men’s game. The latter includes being given kitchen-related appliances as prizes rather than money, while some prizes are presented before all of the contestants have finished the competition.

The study shows that the vast majority of male coaches and managers do not take into account or even consider menstruation as a possible factor regarding training and even injury. Meanwhile comments such as ‘too skinny’, ‘too fat’, ‘masculine’ or ‘too delicate’ are commonplace for women in sport. This is in turn can lead to disorders and mental health issues, beyond just impacting sporting performance, as women battle expectations placed upon them and not men.

Overall, it paints a grim picture. The incidents within the RFEF appear to be just the surface of the problems that women encounter within their profession, and this report gives credence to their demands for a more professional structure, although it is not known if any of the Spain team were involved. The study was carried out in support of 50 proposed law and policy changes within sport, which have been divided into 10 key proposals. These measures are designed in an attempt to deconstruct and bring to an end inequality within sport for women.

Tags 2023 World Cup Luis Rubiales Spain La Roja World Cup
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