CORDOBA, Spain (AP) - Spain's women's team received the support of a record crowd on Tuesday in its first home match since winning the World Cup title.
A crowd of 14,194 saw Spain rout Switzerland 5-0 in the Nations League, surpassing the previous record of 11,209 fans for a women's national team match in Spain, which was achieved in a friendly against the United States last year.
The local crowd, which did not fully fill the 21,000-capacity Nuevo Arcangel Stadium in Cordoba, showed their support for the players who have been fighting against sexism since their world title was tarnished by a scandal sparked by the former Spanish soccer federation president,Luis Rubiales, kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the World Cup awards ceremony.
Players boycotted the national team but eventually adeal was reachedwith the federation and government mediators for significant reform in the beleaguered federation.
A banner shown by fans in Cordoba read "Your fight is our pride. You are not alone."
Before the match, players from both teams got together and held a banner with the words "Se Acabo" - Spanish for "this is over" - followed by "Our fight is the global fight."
The "Se Acabo" slogan was started by Hermoso's teammateAlexia Putellas, Spain's star player, and has been a rallying call amid the scandal. New coach Montse Tome left Hermoso out of the squad "as a way to protect her."
Players also wore wristbands with the "Se Acabo" slogan, and raised their wrists while posing behind the banner.
The national team showed off the World Cup trophy to the fans, with Putellas and Irene Paredes raising it in front of the home crowd.
"We were excited about being able to celebrate with the fans," said Aitana Bonmati, who scored twice on Tuesday. "It was an atypical week but we were able to overcome everything. The players showed that they are professionals."
Spain's first match after the World Cup was a3-2 come-from-behind win at Swedenin the Nations League last week.
Source: Courthouse News Service