3 players quit Argentina women's team in dispute over pay and conditions

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Three players quit Argentina's women's squad on Monday in a dispute over not being paid and conditions at a camp ahead of two friendlies.

Goalkeeper Laurina Oliveiros, defender Julieta Cruz and midfielder Lorena Benítez, all regular starters, walked out.

“We reached a point in which we are tired of the injustices, of not being valued, not being heard and, even worse, being humiliated,” Cruz posted on Instagram. “We need improvements for Argentina’s women’s soccer national team, and I am not only talking about finances. I speak about training, having lunch, breakfast.”

Cruz and Benítez said during national squad training sessions they received a ham and cheese sandwich and a banana, which they consider inadequate for high-performance athletes.

They said the Argentine Football Association told them they won't be paid for the friendlies against Costa Rica on Friday and Monday because the games are at home in Buenos Aires.

Benitez added their family members were being charged 5,000 pesos ($5) for match tickets.

“And there there are millions of things we have gone through," the midfielder added.

Oliveros wrote on Instagram, “With a broken heart and thousands of dreams disappearing little by little. May the next generations enjoy and be happy running after the football, as we were sometime ago."

AFA did not comment on the players' decision.

Estefanía Banini, considered the country's best female player ever, supported her three former teammates. Last year, she also decided to stop playing for the national team.

“A matter of time. Thanks for being willing to speak about it,” the Atletico Madrid midfielder said on her social media channels.


AP soccer:

Debora Rey, The Associated Press