A game to forget...and relaunch. While the women's national team has just won the 2023 World Cup, Spanish football is (paradoxically) experiencing dark times, the fault of the Luis Rubiales affair, also called the forced kiss affair, which has ignited the news in recent times. days, even beyond the sphere of football. If the Spanish players are, logically, the most affected by the impact and the consequences of this controversy, their male counterparts, who are preparing to face Georgia (Friday, 6 p.m.) in the qualifiers for the Euro 2024, also feel concerned.
This Monday, in a press release published on the website of the Spanish football federation, the latter wanted to bring their "solidarity" to the world champions but also to condemn the "unacceptable" behavior of Luis Rubiales, who "did not lived up to the institution he represents". “We stand firmly and clearly on the side of the values that sport represents. Spanish football must be an engine of respect, inspiration, equality and diversity, and must lead by example through its behavior on and off the pitch,” they added.
It is in this turbulent context that Luis de la Fuente - who apologized after applauding Luis Rubiales - and his players will try to relaunch themselves in the qualifiers for the 2024 European Championship which will be played next summer in Germany . Because after two contested matches, La Roja is not in the best possible situation. If it won (easily) against Norway (3-0), it then lost against a surprising Scottish team (2-0). She thus points to fourth position in the Group A standings, nine points behind the Scottish leader, but with two matches less. Nothing inextricable, however, since the first two in each group will be directly qualified for the final phase of the competition and Georgia, currently second, only has one point more than them.
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However, La Roja - who won the last edition of the Nations League - will have no room for error this Friday against the Georgians who will have absolutely nothing to lose. Indeed, it is certain that Norway of Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard, which appears (now) as its main competitor for second place in Group A, will be happy to take advantage of a misstep on its part. Proof of the pressure surrounding the Spanish national team, the players explained that they needed to put aside business to focus on the upcoming deadlines: "From today we are faced with a concentration decisive for the future of Spanish football on the way to qualification for Euro 2024 with two matches against Georgia and Cyprus, they indicated in their press release published this Monday. We would like to be able to concentrate on sporting issues from now on, given the importance of the challenges that await us.” Will they be able to bounce back? Response this Friday early evening.