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El Confidencial report alleges Ariana Arias left Real Madrid after denouncing club of workplace harassment

Kike Marín writes that Real Madrid meddled with a call up to the Spanish national team.

RCD Espanyol v Real Madrid - Women Primera Division Femenina Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

The ‘El Confidencial’ report that is summarized in this article is bolstered by a lot of claims from the author himself — Kike Marín. These claims are worth being skeptical of, especially when unsubstantiated, but especially so in the context of Marín’s reporting on Real Madrid, which has consistently been biased against the club, according to the opinion of this Managing Madrid author.

However, the inclusion of quotes from Ariana Arias’ family, coupled with the seriousness of the allegations, compelled Managing Madrid to share this story. Managing Madrid has a history of reporting on issues with the management of the women’s team, and has never dismissed allegations for the sake of protecting the club. Thus, this author asks that readers carefully consider the information presented and hold direct quotes in higher regard than the claims made by Marín.

A report by Kike Marín from El Confidencial claims that former Las Blancas youth star Ariana Arias left the club after denouncing Real Madrid for abuse of power and workplace harassment. Marín used quotes from the player’s family to substantiate some of his reporting.

Marín writes that Arias presented her case before Madrid’s Ethics Commission “after last January,” arguing that she had suffered abuse of power and workplace harassment under the management of ex-coach David Aznar and current Sporting Director Ana Rossell. Within this complaint, Ari allegedly asserted that Madrid had meddled with one of her call ups to the national team. According to Marín, Madrid hid a national team selection from Arias; hence, she only found out that she had been chosen through social media — but in the context of being dropped.

Marín asserts that Ari’s complaint did not succeed but that the club gave her the freedom to leave to another team (she ended up moving to Barcelona on a free transfer).

Per Marín, the commission was chaired by Pedro López Jiménez, vice president of the board of directors, Javier López Farré, the director of legal services, Enrique Sánchez, secretary of the board, and José Ángel Sánchez, general director.

Marín also states that Arias informed Begoña Sanz (deputy to the general director and the one with direct oversight of the women’s team) that Ana Rossell had told her that “those who had to play, played, not the ones who are best, and that, as long as she [Rossell] is in charge, it will always be like this.”

Marín then includes quotes from Ari’s family:

“[We are] very proud to belong to this club, but, with all the pain that this entails, we would like [Real Madrid] to investigate and carry out all the appropriate procedures and take the measures related to the workplace harassment protocol as soon as possible.”

Marín adds that the family requests this for Ari’s protection and for all of her colleagues, before finishing the sentence with the next quote: “especially minors, since it is not an isolated case and is repeated over time.”

Marín ends his section of quotes by saying that the “player’s psychological situation was, according to her family, ‘very worrying and that it is possible to avoid harming other players for the exposed reasons.’” It is worth noting that Marín’s phrase “situación psicológica,” which translates to “psychological situation” (the original article is in Spanish), contains a hyperlink to a piece about the psychological challenges presented by COVID-19. It is unclear why this is the case and what relevance it possesses to Marín’s report.

Arias and her family could’ve reported the case to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), but Marín says they didn’t do so because it is an “open secret” that the head of the Department of Integrity and Security, Alfredo Lorenzo, has a close relationship with Ana Rossell.

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