Players for Spain women’s national team have reiterated their refusal to play in the two upcoming matches without major changes at the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) – the latest development in relation to former football boss Luis Rubiales’ unwanted kiss. La Roja star Jennifer Hermoso.
Twenty players, who earlier on Friday signed a letter protesting against playing for the national team until fundamental concerns are resolved, have been named in new head coach Monts Tomé’s 23-man squad.
To mewho replaced the former manager Jorge Vilda as part of a shake-up at the RFEF following Spain’s triumph at the Women’s World Cup, it selected female players for matches against Sweden and Switzerland on 22 and 26 September, despite the players stating their “firm will not to be called up for reasons that are legitimate. ”
In statements posted on social networks on Monday, the players said: “(We will) investigate the possible legal consequences that the RFEF exposed us to by putting us on a list that we asked not to be called up for reasons that have already been publicly and more fully explained. in detail to the RFEF and to do the best decisions for our future and for our health.
Despite their repeated refusal to play for Spain until there were substantial changes to the federation, several players did so they reported to campincluding Athenea del Castillo, Misa Rodríguez, Olga Carmona and Teresa Abelleira – the last three are signatories to the statement released on Friday.
Goalkeeper Rodríguez, when asked by reporters in Madrid on his way to his hotel on Tuesday if the players agreed with Tomé’s team list, replied: “No.”
The players’ statement came just hours after Tomé told reporters he was in contact with the players and had made arrangements to address their concerns.
“The federation has been working to be able to talk to the players,” she said. “I worked with them too. We listened to them, we thought we were all part of this group, and there is good communication along the way.”
Montse Tomé speaks at a press conference in Madrid on Monday.
Asked if any players had told her they did not wish to be called up to play in the upcoming UEFA Women’s Nations League matches, Tomé said no.
Meantime, Beautiful – who was not named in Tomé’s challenge – issued a statement on Monday saying “nothing has changed” inside the federation.
“We looked for weeks – months, even months – for protection from the RFEF that never came,” said Hermoso, who was not named in the 23-man squad for the upcoming matches.
“The people who are now asking us to believe them are the same ones who today released the list of players who asked NOT to be called up.”
“The players are sure that this is another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate us and threaten us with legal consequences and economic sanctions. It is even more irrefutable evidence that shows that even today nothing has changed.”
Talking on the radio network Cadena SER on Monday, Víctor Francos, president of the Spanish government’s Supreme Council for Sport (CSD), confirmed that players face fines and sanctions under the country’s sports law for not representing the national team.
“I hope the invitation has been agreed with (the players),” Francos said. “If he doesn’t show up, the government will do what they have to do and that is to apply the law, which is unfortunate for me, I assure you, and it hurts. I would never want to do what I had to do at that moment.
“But the law is the law, the sports law says what it says. International laws for national teams say what they say, but I still believe there could be a way around it.
“I’m also telling you that I feel like (the RFEF) took the problem they had to the government and said, ‘Well, we’ll call them and the government will decide.’
Francos said he would like to meet the players later on Tuesday in Valencia, describing the current situation as “incomprehensible” and that the team members he spoke to seemed “bad”.
“I left a very negative impression in the worst way. I didn’t see anger, I didn’t see bad form. I saw sadness, exhaustion, and that’s why I decided to go help them.
“I feel that some of the people who are at the helm (at the RFEF) in this crisis have not stopped to look at the forest. They examined the branch, but not the forest. I can’t be more clear.
“What cannot remain in the federation is behavior that makes players uncomfortable or intimidates them,” added Francos.
According to the Spanish Sports Law and RFEF Disciplinary RulesThe players could be fined between €3,006 ($3,213) and €30,051 ($32,125) and have their playing licenses suspended or confiscated for two to five years, potentially having consequences for the players’ club careers in addition to their international future. .
Francos also said he plans to speak with members of the unit on Tuesday because “there is a point where the government should and has an obligation to intervene.” On Tuesday, a ČSD spokesperson confirmed to CNN that he is interviewing the players throughout the day.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Spanish Culture and Sports Minister Miquel Iceta called on the RFEF to resolve the dispute.
“The High Council of Sport will be personally involved in finding a solution,” he said.
“The Royal Spanish Football Federation has no right to deprive Spain of its women’s national team, especially since it won the World Cup.
“We call on the federation to correct all the shortcomings of this anomalous team, to change its federation structures so that the federation can truly be a space of safety, competitiveness and professionalism to which the players are entitled. to and Spanish citizens have the right to do so.”
Iceta also pledged that a solution would be found before players could be punished.
Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images
Alexia Putellas controls the ball against Japan during the Women’s World Cup.
In response to the ongoing dispute between the federation and the players, goalkeeper Iker Casillas, winner of the Men’s World Cup he wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “Everything they do keeps getting WORSE in the RFEF.”
Spain’s football association AFE said it was “absolutely shocked” by the team’s announcement on Monday in a statement.
“It is incomprehensible that an institution which has itself declared in recent weeks that it hopes to usher in a new era of open and consensual dialogue, has once again shown a huge lack of respect for women’s football and the recently announced world champions,” he added. said AFE.
“From the AFE, we are appealing to the RFEF to stop putting pressure on the players in their efforts and consider why there is such a lack of confidence and support from many called-up players.”
The Spanish women’s national team will face Sweden and Switzerland in the Women’s Nations League on Friday and next Tuesday.
Spain’s female players’ discontent with the federation dates back more than a year, when 15 members of the senior squad sent personally signed letters to the RFEF saying they would no longer play for the national team unless sweeping changes were made to the entire coaching staff.
Of the 15 players who signed the letters, only three were in Spain’s World Cup squad: Mariona Caldentey, Aitana Bonmatí and Ona Batlle. The trio were included in Tomó’s team, which was announced on Monday.
Despite these off-field struggles, Spain’s young side put in a superb performance at the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, beating England in the final to win their first title.
The success was subsequently overshadowed by Rubiales’ actions during the medal ceremony and the subsequent aftermath, which culminated on 11 September in the resignation of the former football boss as president of the RFEF.
Now that Vilda and Rubiales have left their positions, the RFEF hopes to start a new chapter in women’s football.
It issued a statement on Monday ahead of the release of the team list highlighting its commitment to push through changes to the organisation.
“It is absolutely imperative that we become aware of these changes, clarify any behavior and conduct that may have occurred, and act as such with professionalism and fairness and address the relevant responsibilities in each case,” it said.
“It is evident that the federation, the society and the players themselves are united by the same goal: to restore and start a new era where football is the big winner in this whole process.”
Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images
Former RFEF chief Luis Rubiales testified at Spain’s national court on Friday.
On Friday, Rubiales testified in Spain’s national court after being summoned by the presiding judge to assist the court in its investigation into potential allegations of sexual assault and coercion against him.
The Spanish prosecutor’s office said Rubiales answered questions from the judge and all parties and denied the charges.
Later Friday, a judge issued Rubiales with a restraining order barring him from coming within 200 meters of Hermosa and ordering him not to communicate with her during the court investigation.
“The whole world saw that it was not consensual.” We will show that,” Hermos’ lawyer Carla Vallova said after leaving the National Court in the capital, Madrid.