Women's Nations League: Sweden stand in solidarity with Spain before match amid scandal in Spanish football

Women's Nations League: Sweden stand in solidarity with Spain before match amid scandal in Spanish football

Sweden and Spain players stood together in solidarity before their Women's Nations League match on Friday in front of a banner translating to "It's Over" following the scandal which has dominated Spanish football.

Both sets of players held a banner which read in Spanish "Se Acabo" with "Our fight is the global fight" written in English underneath and it was greeted with applause in the stadium.

The banner was displayed after Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales resigned last week after he kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy presentation ceremony following last month's World Cup win.

World Cup-winning boss Jorge Vilda was sacked earlier this month amid the kiss row.

The game against Sweden, which Spain won 3-2, was their first since beating England 1-0 in the final in Sydney, with the Spanish players wearing wristbands with "Se Acabo" written on them for the game in Gothenburg.

England and Scotland also decided to show their support and solidarity with the Spanish team ahead of their Nations League game at the Stadium of Light.

The two sets of players wore white wristbands with #SeAcabo on them and came together for a group photo before kick-off on Friday night in Sunderland.

England and Barcelona defender Lucy Bronze told [[Sports23]] after the game: "I'm probably someone that knows more than most outside of that Spanish national team.

"It's been a tough time since the World Cup final for Jenni individually but, collectively, that team has gone through a lot of stress.

"It's important for them to feel supported not just from us, but from everybody around Europe and around the world to let them know they're doing the right thing, fighting for a good cause, that change is happening and we're all behind them."

Spain made a winning return to action with a 3-2 win over Sweden secured by a penalty with virtually the last kick of the game.

Mariona Caldentey converted a spot-kick in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time with the final whistle blowing immediately after the resulting restart.

A 23rd-minute opener by captain Magdalena Eriksson gave Sweden the lead but Spain replied through Athenea del Castillo's equaliser in the 37th minute, when her shot from outside the area squirmed out of goalkeeper Zecira Muovic's grasp and bounced into the net.

Spain went ahead in the 77th minute through Eva Navarro, who curled a left-footed shot into the top corner, only for Lina Hurtig to make it 2-2 five minutes later.

The penalty was awarded with seconds left of added-on time when Amanda Ilestedt pulled back Amaiur Sarriegi in the area, a foul that earned the defender a red card.Spain play again on Tuesday as they face Switzerland in their first home game since winning the World Cup.

The Spanish players had threatened a boycott of the game against Sweden but it was only called off after the Spanish FA said it would make "immediate and profound changes" to its structure on Wednesday.

The boycott ended after the government intervened to help shape an agreement, although two players - Patri Guijarro and Mapi Len - opted to leave the training camp.

The government guaranteed the players they would not be sanctioned for refusing call-ups to the national team and the remaining players stayed in camp after being picked by Montse Tome, the new head coach, against their will on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Spanish football federation has removed secretary general Andreu Camps and vowed to create a 'safe environment' after the women's squad stopped their boycott.

Meetings ended at nearly 5am on Wednesday, but the RFEF appeared to clarify the "profound changes" and also "dispensed with the services" of its general secretary Camps.

Amanda Gutierrez, the president of the FUTRPO players' union, said steps had been made toward establishing the equal treatment between Spain's women's and men's national teams.

Victor Francos, Spain's secretary for sports and president of the Higher Council for Sports, said the "cordial meetings" led to the creation of a committee involving players, the federation and the government.

Francos added the agreements should promote advances in gender policies and equal pay, as well as lead to structural changes in women's football.

Among the demands by the players was to have Pedro Rocha, the interim president who replaced Rubiales following his resignation, removed.

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