Chaos continues to surround the Spanish Women’s National Soccer Team after their World Cup success and controversy. New coach Montse Tomé has now revealed her first squad, including several players who had requested not to be called up until structural changes had been made within the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
In her press conference, Tomé claimed that she had spoken to the players, which they have denied. Upon her arrival at the training camp, Real Madrid goalkeeper Misa was asked if she was happy to be in the squad, to which she responded that she was not, and when asked if she had spoken to Tomé, she said, “we haven’t received anything”.
The primary reason for that is due to Spanish regulations, with article 65 of the RFEF’s disciplinary code stating that “players who do not attend or abandon the calls of the National Teams without justification, meaning those referring to training sessions, training camps or actual matches or competitions, shall be sanctioned with a fine of €3,006 ($3,219) to 30,051 euros ($32,180)”. That is in addition to FIFA regulations which can suspend players who do not justify an absence from selection for their national team.
According to Carrusel Deportivo, representatives of the Spanish government will attend the training camp in order to negotiate with all parties and try to find a common ground, which could include allowing the players to depart the camp without any sanction.
It follows clear statements from Spain’s Minister of Culture and Sport, Miquel Iceta, who spoke on the situation to say that the government “call on the Federation to correct all the deficiencies of this anomalous call, to change the federative structures so that it is a space of security, competitiveness and professionalism to which the players and the rest of society have a right.
Jennifer Hermoso’s reaction statement
The squad selection was a controversial one, with several players from the World Cup-winning squad included despite signing statements that they would not be available until changes were made.
One player who was absent was Jennifer Hermoso, the forward at the storm of the case surrounding Luis Rubiales’ kiss on her in the celebrations. “We are with Jenni and with all the players in everything… We felt that the best way to protect her in this call-up is like this,” Tomé explained as she was asked about the decision to exclude.
In a statement in reaction to the decision, Hermoso questioned both the decision and the explanation offered. “Protect me from what?” she asked in a statement shared online. “Let’s be clear: a claim was made today stating that the environment within the federation would be safe for my colleagues to rejoin yet at the same press conference it was announced that they were not calling me as a means to protect me.”
“Protect me from what? And from whom? We have been searching for weeks – months, even – for protection from the RFEF that never came. The people who now ask us to trust them are the same ones who today disclosed the list of players who have asked NOT to be called up.
“The players are certain that this is yet another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate and threaten us with legal repercus- sions and economic sanctions. It is yet more irrefutable proof that shows that even today, nothing has changed.
“I want to once again show my full support to my colleagues who have been caught by surprise and forced to react to another unfortunate situation caused by the people who continue to make decisions within the RFEF. This is why we are fighting and why we are doing it in this way.”
Spain’s women’s team are meeting with some players in Madrid before travelling to a new base in Valencia, which was only announced at the last minute, before taking on Sweden in a friendly on Friday.