The recognition of Barça midfielder Aitana Bonmatí as the Best UEFA Women's Player of the last season is a well-deserved honour, after the magnificent season enjoyed by the footballer from Sant Pere de Ribes. As well as her success at the World Cup in Australia, where she was considered MVP of the tournament, is the performance over the last year at her club, FC Barcelona, where the Barça Feminí team won - in addition to the Spanish League and the Super Cup - the Champions League for the second time. Bonmatí follows in the footsteps of her team-mate, Alexia Putellas, the blaugrana woman who has won most awards, with two The Best FIFA Women's Player awards, in 2021 and 2022, and, in those same two years, two Ballon d'Or prizes from France Football and two UEFA Best Women's Player awards. Bonmatí and Putellas thus collective ensure that three UEFA awards in a row have ended up in the hands of Catalan footballers, since Putellas is also from a town in the Barcelona metropolitan region, in her case, Mollet del Vallès.
The fact that a total of nine FCB players were part of the Spanish team that won the World Cup serves to highlight the importance of the blaugrana team on the pitch, but also in the stand taken by the players against the sexist attitudes of the president of the RFEF, Luis Rubiales. This spirit of denunciation was verbalized by Bonmatí when collecting her award this Thursday in Monaco in front of all the powers of the European football world as well as the representatives of the clubs attending the Champions League draw. In a gesture of support for her colleague Jennifer Hermoso, she stated that "as a society we must not allow the abuse of power and disrespect in the work environment, from my colleague Jenni to all those women who suffer the same, we are with you."
An attitude that contrasts with that of the UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, who, despite considering that Rubiales acted inappropriately in his non-consensual kiss to Hermoso at the medal ceremony for the Women's World Cup, has ruled out dismissing him as UEFA vice-president, claiming that the FIFA sanction of removing him from office for 90 days makes it unnecessary. Whether he is right or not, with the gesture Ceferin washes his hands of the affair and illustrates how hard it is for current sports managers to understand the gravity of issues like that of the president of the Spanish federation. A UEFA sanction was necessary not only as a gesture of solidarity with Hermoso, but also as an unequivocal message to all clubs and national teams in order to exterminate any sign of sexist behaviour.
While all this is happening, the Spanish government and the state's Higher Sports Council (CSD) are under fire for the tardy reaction of the culture ministry over the issue, as well as for the slowness of the Sport Arbitration Tribunal (TAD). This Friday it will be a week since the CSD sent the tribunal the file to remove Rubiales from office, and there is still no official announcement, beyond a couple of press conferences to that effect. It is true that the speed of information makes everything moves at a speed very different from what it takes to prepare formal judgments, but the alarm that the Rubiales case has generated due to the shameful behaviour that took place required a very different pace from what we are seeing. Because it will end up giving the impression that such slothfulness is their normal practice.