The Argentina Football Association has been rocked after three players quit the national women's team amid accusations of "humiliating" pay and conditions.

Goalkeeper Laurina Oliveiros, defender Julieta Cruz and midfielder Lorena Benítez left a training camp on Monday ahead of a friendly double header against Costa Rica due to the unfurling dispute, a staggering situation when juxtaposed with the men's national team's 2022 World Cup triumph.

The trio are regular starters for the national team and will not participate in Friday's friendly nor that on 3 June until the Argentina FA respond to demands for improved match fees, training facilities and nutrition.

According to the players, during training sessions they were supplied a ham and cheese sandwich and a banana, nutrition which they claim is insufficient for high-performance athletes.

Claims have also been levied that the federation told players they would not be paid for their two friendlies because the games will take place on home soil in Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, family members are charged 5,000 pesos (about £4) for tickets to attend the match.

"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."

The midfielder added: "And there there are millions of things we have gone through."

Argentina's men's team won the 2022 World Cup with Messi (
Image:
Getty Images)

Goalkeeper Oliveros published on Instagram several pictures of her wearing Argentina's shirt with the attending caption: "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."

The players join Estefanía Banini, considered to be the nation's best-ever female player, who also decided to stop playing for the national team. The Atletico Madrid midfielder responded to the players' decision to step away on her social channels: "A matter of time. Thanks for being willing to speak about it."

Argentina are the latest women's national senior team to accuse their respective federation of inadequate conditions and treatment. Last year's Women's World Cup was embroiled in controversy as a number of national teams revealed harrowing stories of maltreatment, often in the face of success enjoyed by their corresponding men's teams.

Lorena Benitez revealed that the team were fed a ham and cheese sandwich and a banana during training sessions (
Image:
Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

The Nigerian women's national team threatened to boycott their opening game against Canada amid ongoing bonus payment disputes, while the Jamaican women's national team were forced to boycott a series of friendlies after being denied payments for reaching the summer's showpiece event.

One of the most infamous cases arrived in the form of the tournament champions Spain. A number of national team players (known as the "Las 15") quit the team over accusations of shocking treatment from then-manager Jorge Vilda, while the aftermath of their triumph was overshadowed by the sprawling Luis Rubiales scandal.

Argentina's professional women's soccer championship started only five years ago, but players view the overall improvement as meagre. Argentina's women's teams reached the Women's World Cup last summer but finished bottom of their group, winning just one point. They usually struggle in South American competitions against rivals from Colombia and from Brazil. The latter will host of the 2027 Women's World Cup, the first-ever South American country to do so.

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