(Las Rozas de Madrid) Fifteen of the 23 Spanish world champions, the majority on strike since the Rubiales affair, were nevertheless called up on Monday for the next League of Nations matches by the new coach Montse Tomé, who left Jenni Hermoso side to “protect” her.
The players have still not publicly declared that they agree to return to the selection, despite the resignation of former Spanish football boss Luis Rubiales after his forced kiss to Jenni Hermoso and the dismissal of coach Jorge Vilda, of whom they criticized the methods.
“The players are professionals and I am sure they will do their job well, they have been doing it for a long time,” said Montse Tomé when unveiling his first list. “I know they will be with us tomorrow,” she assured, without being able to give additional guarantees.
The former FC Barcelona player also retained Mapi León and Patri Guijarro, not selected for the World Cup and part of the “fifteen rebels” who had already demanded changes in the working methods of the national team ago a year.
In total, 39 players, including 21 of the 23 Spaniards crowned in Sydney, announced Friday in a press release that the conditions were not met for them to play again in the national team and had called for a total overhaul of the Spanish football authorities.
Among the signatories are double Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas and UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Aitana Bonmati. They are demanding more changes at the different levels of the federation (RFEF), in particular the resignation of several members who were part of Luis Rubiales’ team, as well as the “restructuring” of the RFEF organization chart, from the general secretariat to marketing Service.
“Participate in change”
Nineteen of them are part of the list presented on Monday, but it is impossible to know immediately if they will go to the rally planned for Tuesday.
Concerning Jenni Hermoso, Montse Tomé declared having spoken to her, without revealing the content of their discussion, before ensuring that not selecting her was, according to her, “the best way to protect her”. “We are counting on Jenni, I have been working with her for five years,” she added, wishing to “open a new stage” in Spanish women’s football.
“It’s crazy, how can you threaten your own players like that? » denounced the Swiss Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic, player of Atlético Madrid on X, insinuating that Tomé had not obtained the agreement of his players to summon them.
“Calling them into the national team even though they said they wanted changes before coming back is very disrespectful,” added the Swiss international, whose team is due to face Spain next week.
A few hours before the coach spoke, the Spanish Federation had reiterated its intention to make “structural changes” after the Rubiales affair, urging the 39 internationals who refuse to return to the selection to “participate in this change”. A formula taken up by Montse Tomé at a press conference.
In this press release, the Spanish Federation says it wants to “guarantee a safe environment for the players and is committed to establishing a climate of mutual trust so that we can work together and ensure that women’s football continues to progress much stronger”.
La Roja must face Sweden on Friday and Switzerland next week in the Nations League, the qualifying tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
She will play for the first time with a star on her jersey, but without guarantee that it will be worn by those who won this star in August.