As Jenni Hermoso and the rest of the 2023 Women’s World Cup-winning team rebel against the Spanish FA and now-suspended president, Luis Rubiales, England’s Ella Toone appeared on BBC Breakfast to share a message of unified support from the Lionesses.
There are no words to express how much love and pride we have for this lot.
Joining the coach on Tuesday 29 August, the England and Manchester United forward was asked to give her feelings on the ongoing saga as Spain’s football federation is now investigating Rubiales for kissing Hermoso without consent, as well as a variety of other controversies within the national team.
Not hesitating for a second to praise what she and the rest of her teammates have hailed as an incredible squad in the World Cup final earlier this month, Toone went on to say that the nonconsensual kiss was simply unacceptable.
“It’s not the best”, said Toone, adding that “Spain were unbelievable throughout that tournament” and while the fact that they won their first Women’s World Cup “should be the main talking point… It’s been overshadowed by something that happened after the game that is unacceptable and the Lionesses all stand by Jenni Hermoso.”
Last week, after reports that the women’s team are now refusing to play until Rubiales resigns and the majority of the coaching staff have now walked out, Sarina Wiegman and her side shared a message of solidarity, stating “We all stand with you, @jennihermoso and all players of the Spanish team.”
“Unacceptable actions allowed to happen by a sexist and patriarchal organisation,” they wrote. “Abuse is abuse and we have all seen the truth. The behaviour of those who think they are invincible must not be tolerated and people shouldn’t need convincing to take action against any form of harassment.
Being asked to reflect on what motivated them to share the heartfelt message, the 23-year-old said the idea was posed by “some of the leaders in the squad” but assured it was one they “all believed in and wanted to put out as a team”, adding they now just “want the right thing to be done”.
The treatment of female Spanish players over the past year alone is by no means limited to what he has dismissed as a mere “peck”.
With countless members of the squad having refused to play under equally controversial manager, Jorge Vilda, at points, and allegations of mistreatment at various levels throughout the national team, the narrative seems to be increasingly one of a systemic problem in women’s football in the country.
With 15 players having previously signed an email that claimed they had been subjected to “situations that affect our emotional and personal state, our performance, and consequently the results of the national team” earlier, people have similarly been calling for Vilda to be sacked for some time.
Although the specifics of what the players alleged are not entirely known, footage of the 42-year-old coach touching a female member of his backroom staff’s breast whilst on the touchline at the World Cup has also been shared online.
The more evidence that continues to come light, the louder the cries for both of them to resign get, and people are now taking to the streets across Spain under one message: ‘Se acabó’ — i.e. ‘it’s over’ and there will be ‘no more’ instances of female professional footballers being abused.
As Toone went on to say, “it’s a tough situation” for the Spanish national team and “it’s sad that we’re still talking about things like [Rubiales] misconduct” when both countries should be focusing on simply celebrating their teams’ achievements.
She concluded by saying that Spain’s FA president should “definitely” vacate his post, insisting that it’s “too far gone now for an apology… it’s much bigger than that now, so hopefully the right thing is done. He needs to move on”.
Regarding Vilda, he is one of the few members of the coaching staff who has remained part of the team but there is growing pressure for him to follow his boss on the way out and to also face investigation.
Earlier this week, the BBC also came under fire whilst reporting on the entire scandal after they mistakenly used images of a Manchester City legend when referencing Luis Rubiales.
Scott McTominay jokes he’s ‘fuming’ he didn’t score a hat-trick against Chelsea as he reflects on Man United’s mentality
Scott McTominay has joked he’s “fuming” with himself after failing to score a hat-trick in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday nightand shed some light on the mentality around Old Trafford.
McTominay starred in the Red Devils’ win over Mauricio Pochettino’s side on a cold night at home, managing to bag a brace with a goal in the first and second half to get his squad over the line, but he himself said he could have had more.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, the 26-year-old said he and the squad knew they needed to drum up a reaction after the Newcastle disappointment, adding that contributing more goals is something he wants to keep working on and insisting that plenty of people back him to do so.
Confessing that his mum, dad and grandad have all been encouraging him to “get in the box” and that he just needs to “believe in [him]self and go for it”, the Scotsman did go on to quip he was “fuming” to not grab a third as he shook his head went on to shake and reveal a wry smile.
Commentator and presenter Stewart Gardner went on to list McTominay’s impressive stats this season, having now scored 14 goals in his last 33 appearances for club and country. A seriously good rate from a midfielder typically entrusted to help link play and break things up in the middle of the park.
Now boasting half a dozen goals and an assist across all competitions so far this campaign, he sits as the club’s leading goalscorer in the Premier League with five finishes to his name — with only Bruno Fernandes having contributed more (five goals and five assists) — he’s genuinely become one of Man United’s main goal threats.
While he recently rubbished talk that he played as a striker regularly coming up through the youth academy, simply having been deployed for the odd game in reality, he has always had a shot on him and it isn’t the first time he’s bagged a winner or a big goal for the Reds. This wasn’t a bad one either:
Chatting with the pundits on Amazon Prime Sport, he reiterated that he could have had “one or two more” on another night and agreed that the performance against Newcastle in the previous fixture was “pretty abysmal”, holding his hands up to admit that it was “no way near good enough”.
Reflecting on the later chance he had to seal the hat-trick towards the end of the game, he said he simply needed to “calm down on the last one”.
As for the mentality to get the result during a difficult period where the club remained under a lot of scrutiny from pundits and fans alike, McTominay went on to say that the manager is responsible for the way they played and some “lighter training sessions to keep energy levels up” definitely helped.
Regardless, he was sure to not get ahead of himself and assured ten Hag‘s team were still taking things a game at a time. You can watch the full highlights from Manchester United vs Chelsea down below:
Featured Images — Scott McTominay (via Instagram)/MUTV
Kevin Sinfield has entered the final leg of yet another ultra marathon challenge for MND
Ex-rugby player turned England coach Kevin Sinfield has begun the final day of yet another incredible ultra marathon challenge he is undertaking to raise money and awareness around motor neurone disease (MND), with the sports personality scheduled to finish up this Thursday.
Having set off on 1 December, the Oldham-born athlete is facing what he has called easily his “toughest challenge” yet, taking on the newly-dubbed ‘Ultra 7 in 7 in 7’, which will see him once again run an ultra marathon every day for seven days across seven different cities.
Following on from his first Ultra 7 in 7 back in 2020 and most recent one last year, the Leeds Rhinos legend has now raised well over £8 million pounds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), the cause he got behind following his former teammate and best mate Rob Burrow’s diagnosis in 2019.
Now, having taken on the incredible feat once again — running the equivalent of 27 miles (43km) a day — Sinfield is hoping to not just reach the trademark £777,777 fundraising target, but smash it for a fourth consecutive time. Here he is finishing up his penultimate leg in his second home.
Setting off from Yorkshire’s iconic Headingley Stadium with a team of friends and volunteers, the 43-year-old has passed through the likes of Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Dublin and Brighton, and is now staring down one last push towards the finale from Twickenham Stadium to the Mall in London.
Having already amassed over £557k in donations since the start of his remarkable journey, he is well on course to reach the finish line in every sense of the word.
The best part about this most recent Ultra 7 fundraising challenge, though, is that beyond just putting in the hard yards in Burrow‘s name and raising money for the MNDA, the funds generated from this series of runs will be going to multiple causes.
As well as the Leeds Hospitals Charity and The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, money will also be going to the Irish MNDA set up by former Scottish rugby player, Doddie Weir, who sadly died from the condition in 2022 but has remained an inspiration to Sinfield and countless others over recent years.
Having echoed his lasting sentiment that “MND isn’t untreatable, it’s just underfunded” throughout his own campaigning for the cause, the local sporting hero will also be representing the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation in his honour. Heartwarming stuff.
As we’re sure is the case for all of you too, we’ve been absolutely blown away by this man over the last few years not only in his ability to keep completing these huge feats of endurance but by the size of his heart in continuing to fundraise on such a massive scale.
From raising awareness around MND and becoming an emblem of friendship with his best mate Rob, Kevin Sinfield has truly set an example for all of us and will no doubt prove a role model to millions for years to come.