The Spanish FA have backed Jorge Vilda, the head coach of their international women's team, after 15 international players resigned in protest over his position.
The protesting players have claimed that Vilda's management was adversely impacting their "health and emotional state" and "as long as it is not reversed, they renounce the national team of Spain".
The Spanish FA have confirmed that they have received emails from each of the 15 players communicating their position but have refused the demand and instead claimed each protesting footballer could be disqualified from representing the team for five years.
Spanish football's governing body added that the resigning players would be replaced by women from the nation's youth teams. They continued that any of the 15 stars may be reinstated "if they assume their mistake and ask for forgiveness".
The 15 players have been named as Ainhoa Vicente Moraza, Patri Guijarro, Leila Ouahabi, Lucia Garcia, Mapi Leon, Ona Batlle, Laia Aleixandri, Claudia Pina, Aitana Bonmati, Andrea Pereira, Mariona Caldentey, Sandra Panos, Lola Gallardo, Nerea Eizaguirre and Amaiur Sarriegi.
Ballon d'Or winner and Barcelona star Alexia Putellas, nor any player representing Real Madrid, were among the players to submit a request.
Vilda, 41, has been the team coach since 2015 and oversaw the nation's Euro 2022 campaign, which saw the team eliminated by England in extra-time of their quarter-final clash. Spain had been billed as the pre-tournament favourites.
Spanish media reported last month that the Spanish women's team were in chaos and a state of disarray, with players on the verge of a mutiny if the FA did not relieve Vilda of his duties. That situation has now come to pass.
A statement from the Spanish FA rejected the request from the players and reminded them that such decisions were not within their remit: "The RFEF will not allow the players to question the continuity of the national coach and his coaching staff, because making those decisions does not fall within their competences."
The statement continued: "The RFEF, contrary to the way these players act, wants to make it clear that it will not take them to this extreme or pressure them. Directly, it will not summon the players who do not want to wear the shirt of Spain. The Federation will only have committed players even if they have to play with youth.
"This has turned from a sporting issue to a question of dignity. Selection is non-negotiable. It is an unprecedented situation in the history of football, both male and female, in the Spanish and world arena."
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