Spanish players refused to take photos with Equatorial Guinea president
The Spanish national team players have informed the RFEF that while they will play their scheduled friendly match against Equatorial Guinea, they refuse to take photos with the president, Dictator Teodoro Obiang, who has been accused of crimes against humanity.
The Spanish government is keen to forge a partnership with Equatorial Guinea, who are rich in oil and have given their approval of Spain’s friendly with the country, which will be at no cost.
However, there players, aware of the controversy surrounding Obiang and his regime, refuse to be used as pawns for political purposes and have informed the RFEF that they will go to the African nation, but will not leave the hotel except to train and play the friendly.
Spanish players have been active in the community with previous friendlies to Argentina, Puerto Rico, Equador and Panama, but due to the strong feelings and accusations of the humanitarian groups in the region, they will not interact, despite the negativity they may receive in turn.
The Coalition of Citizens and Towns of Equatorial Guinea issued a statement condemning the friendly, which has prompted the player’s stance.
“This serves to endorse, validate, legitimise and whitewash the image of the brutal, cruel and bloody dictatorship of Teodoro Obiang Nguema. The Spanish national side should not help with the dirty propaganda games of a regime that is dedicated to rape, assassinations and the rampant theft of oil wealth.”
RFEF president, Angel Maria Villar and Spanish national team president, Vicente Del Bosque are said to be in agreement and respect the player’s wishes.