The Association of Spanish Soccer Players (AFE) has denounced this Monday an “expensive discrimination” against the players of FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad, finalists of the Spanish Super Cup and “underestimated during the moment of collecting the medals of champions and runners-up”, according to a statement.

“The Association of Spanish Soccer Players wants to denounce through this statement what happened in the final of the women’s Spanish Super Cup played in Mérida, in which the soccer players of Fútbol Club Barcelona, ​​brilliant champions of the tournament, and of Real Sociedad, were belittled, among other things, during the moment of collecting the medals of champions and runners-up,” said AFE.

The body chaired by David Aganzo reiterated that the players of both teams were “clearly undervalued by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF)”, which did not recognize the players “as they deserve”.

And it is that this Sunday, the members of the Barça and Real Sociedad squad themselves had to hang themselves the medals. Something that the RFEF explained by referring to a protocol required by the facilities, the same one that was carried out last year and in the Copa del Rey.

“In accordance with the RFEF award protocols, and taking into account both the high number of institutional representation, as well as the infrastructures for access to the box from the stadium grass, the Protocol department decided to activate the award ceremony in the box in the same way that it is carried out in the Copa del Rey: delivery of the Cup to the captain of the champion team and delivery of medals to the winning team on the pitch/dressing room,” the RFEF said in a statement.

The Federation came up against criticism for a video that went viral on social networks, with the Barça players, champions at the Romano José Fouto de Mérida after a 0-3 loss to Real Sociedad, taking out the medals of the cases on top of a table and hanging them on each other. “This is the same award ceremony that took place in the last edition of the Women’s Super Cup in 2022,” added the RFEF.

Given this, AFE recalled in its statement that in the same men’s tournament held in Saudi Arabia a few days ago, the players “were recognized as they deserve for participating in the Super Cup final, with the RFEF president presenting the medals at the same pitch.”

“In Mérida, the players of FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad did not receive the same treatment, being victims of clear discrimination in relation to their teammates, leaving a regrettable image that cannot be repeated again,” criticized the note.

A “discrimination” that AFE also sees in the media made available to the participating teams in both competitions. “VAR was implemented in the men’s Super Cup, which did not happen in the women’s,” he said.

“AFE understands that the institutions, the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Higher Sports Council, cannot and should not ignore this type of event, when the new Sports Law, in which AFE has worked on different and important issues, contemplates basic aspects to promote a fair equality between men and women”, he warned about equality, also in sport, as a “vital issue to create a fairer society”.