Equality was conspicuous by its absence in the last Spanish Absolute Championship of the Spanish Federation of Padel (FEP).
The women’s category has been involved in a great uproar raised by the company Urban Event, to whom the FEP had awarded the organization of the championship.
This company decided to benefit part of the men’s category with a sum of money that would ensure the participation of some of the most valued players in the ranking.
As a result, the women’s section, upon learning of the incident, decided to unite to withdraw their participation in the championship and thus denounce the discriminatory act.
The economic inequality of sport
Urban Event agreed with some players to award the amount of 5,000 euros per head. The act was motivated by the withdrawal of the top Spanish players from the championship, thus increasing the company’s fear of losing money on ticket sales, since part of the public attends to see the top professionals.
“This way of acting implies incurring in practices that lack respect and consideration to the female padel players and are contrary to the principle of equality. Behaviour that is alien to the values and principles of the sport deprives padel, all those who support this sport, and the fans, of their participation in this championship,” the players explained.
In a statement signed by Alejandra Salazar, Gemma Triay, Patty Llaguno, Lucía Sainz, Marta Talaván, Delfi Brea and Nuria Rodríguez, the players acknowledge having had “knowledge that certain padel players have been offered an economic compensation for their participation in the aforementioned championship, which is not included in the official economic endowment of the championship, compensation that has not been offered or proposed to the players participating in the competition”.
Patty, the Association’s spokesperson, shared with ABC newspaper that this was an unaffordable gesture.
“Women’s sport has suffered a lot on all sides and that is why, this time, the players are going to go hand in hand with the association to give firmness and strength to our voice. We have decided that this situation could not be, that it was an unacceptable disregard and that we no longer wanted any kind of compensation,” she added.
Resignation at Urban Event
The issue has been so mediatic that the head of Urban Event resigned. Pedro San Roman, former professional player and now former CEO of Urban Event travelled to Cordoba to present his resignation accompanied by an apology.
San Román also made it clear that the FEP had nothing to do with the decision taken by the organizing company.
Its president, Ramón Morcillo, travelled to Córdoba to talk to the players and convey his rejection of the incentives that some players had allegedly received.