The Spanish Football Federation has removed the term “women’s soccer” from its national team’s name, signaling a significant shift in its perspective on the sport. It remains to be seen if other countries will follow suit.
This change is a result of an agreement between the federation and its World Cup-winning team, which had been in dispute since the former federation president, Luis Rubiales, kissed player Jenni Hermoso during the trophy ceremony.
The women’s team used to have “de fútbol femenino” (women’s soccer) in its name, but now both the men’s and women’s national teams will be officially known as “Selección Española de fútbol” (Spain’s national soccer team).
This move aims to represent a conceptual shift, emphasizing that soccer is soccer, regardless of gender, according to Pedro Rocha, the federation’s interim president. UEFA has discussed similar naming issues informally, but no official proposals have been made.
Some countries, like England and the United States, use “men’s” and “women’s” national teams, but disparities persist in tournament names and branding, reflecting the need for greater gender equality in sports. Spain’s players pushed for these changes following the controversy with Rubiales, leading to reforms to professionalize women’s soccer and promote equal pay.
Other countries, like England, have also faced disputes over bonuses and commercial arrangements, highlighting the ongoing need for a level playing field and equal opportunities in women’s soccer.