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‘Our fight is the global fight’: Spain and Sweden teams unite as World Cup kissing scandal rumbles on

Sweden joined Spain’s players in a show of solidarity ahead of their Women’s Nations League clash as the scandal surrounding Spanish football rumbled on.

Mariona Caldentey’s stoppage-time penalty gave the world champions a 3-2 victory.

However, ahead of the game, the two sets of players held a banner carrying the phrase “Se acabo” – meaning “it’s over” in English – as well as “our fight is the global fight”.

The game in Gothenburg, a rematch of the World Cup semi-final, was Spain’s first outing since they beat England 1-0 to become world champions in August.


Read more:
Spanish Football Federation secretary general sacked
Who said what in World Cup kiss row?
How scandal turned into Spain’s #MeToo moment

After the final, then president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF) Luis Rubiales kissed forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the post-match celebrations.

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Hermoso said the kiss was not consensual, subsequently filing a legal complaint, and the incident has plunged the RFEF into crisis.

Both Rubiales and World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda have already left their posts, and even after kick-off on Friday the federation announced on social media that director of integrity Miguel Garcia Caba has also been axed.

Spain’s players had threatened a boycott of this fixture, only calling that off on Wednesday after reaching an agreement with the federation, and their disrupted build-up perhaps showed as they fell behind in the 23rd minute when Magdalena Eriksson scored following a Sweden corner.

But Athenea del Castillo levelled seven minutes before the break, and Spain led when substitute Eva Navarro scored in the 77th minute, moments after she had replaced Del Castillo.

Lina Hurtig levelled for Sweden eight minutes from time but Spain had the final say in a dramatic finish.

Amanda Ilestedt brought down Amaiur Sarriegi in the box and, after the Sweden defender was sent off, Caldentey scored the penalty to seal the three points.


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