Players from the Pain women’s soccer team said Monday that their strong opposition to being called up to the national team remains after most of the players who won last month’s Women’s World Cup were selected for the upcoming games.
In a joint statement, the players said they would make the “best decision” for their future and health after considering the legal consequences that not attending the draft could have for them.
The players’ revolt followed a kiss on the lips of player Jenni Hermoso by Luis Rubiales, the head of the country’s football association, after Spain won the World Cup, which eventually triggered his resignation.
Hermoso has not been included in Spain’s first squad since winning the Women’s World Cup, but 15 of her title-winning teammates were called up despite the announcement of a boycott last month.
“We stand by Jenni’s side,” new head coach Montse Tome said at a press conference. “We believe this is the best way to protect her, but we are counting on Jenni.”
“It is the beginning of a new phase, the clock is ticking. There’s nothing behind us and we really want to connect with these players.”
Under increasing pressure, Rubiales finally resigned from his post last week, but 39 players, including 21 of Spain’s World Cup winners, issued a statement on Friday saying that was not enough to trigger their return to the national team.
The players said they were not yet “in a safe place” to return and that the problems at the RFEF ran much deeper than at Rubiales.
Rubiales was banned from moving within 200 meters of Hermoso as the national court in Madrid was considering a complaint of sexual assault.
However, new Spanish coach Tome, who was due to announce her squad on Friday after replacing the sacked Jorge Vilda, now has 15 of the world champions in her 23-player squad for the upcoming Nations League games against Sweden and Switzerland recorded.
It is not clear whether these players will accept their call-ups.
Tome was due to name her squad on Friday, but the RFEF said the announcement had been “postponed to a new date to be confirmed”.
Barcelona’s Mapi Leon and Patri Guijarro – who were not included in Spain’s World Cup squad after signing a letter of protest against Vilda – were included.
Additional reporting from PA
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/spain-squad-hermoso-b1107831.html Spain’s players continue strike after the majority of the World Cup winning team were called up for the Nations League