Spain’s Women’s World Cup winners have reportedly informed the Spanish FA (RFEF) that they will not be joining the national team for their upcoming UEFA Nations League campaign.
La Roja’s new head coach, Montse Tome will today name her squad for their first two international matches since winning the World Cup, with the side set to take on Sweden and Switzerland, but her squad list has been overshadowed by the revelation.
Tome is set to be without her best players, after reports emerged that the World Cup squad will refuse the call-up due to insufficient structural changes, having informed the FA of their decision.
Among their demands for change before any return, the players are believed to be asking for the removal of Secretary General Andreu Camps, head of integrity Miguel García Caba, and those responsible in the communications department for leaking Jenni Hermoso’s false statements after the kiss.
The director and president of women’s football at the Spanish FA, Ana Alvarez and Rafa Del Amo, are also thought to be in the spotlight.
The 23 stars from the World Cup campaign were reportedly joined by 12 of the famous ‘Las 15’ – who chose to self-exile themselves from an international call-up last year – and a number of other Spanish footballers, taking the number up to 41.
A total of 81 players had signed a letter stating that they would reject the call-up, which was released last month by the players’ union FutPro, stating that they would reject calls until there was a change in leadership at the Spanish FA.
According to Relevo, a virtual meeting took place at 9pm on Thursday night between the players ‘to assess, as a team, what they would do if they were called up by Tome’.
The report claims the meeting went on for three hours with players ‘presenting all their arguments’ as they considered not returning until ‘there are deeper changes in the structure of the National Team and Spanish Football Association (RFEF).’
Those names included Mapi León, Patri Guijarro, Claudia Pina, Lola Gallardo, Ainhoa Moraza, Amaiur Sarriegi, and Nerea Eizagirre.
The 15 players wrote to the Spanish FA claiming they would not be available for selection while Vilda remained in his position. But the RFEF issued a strongly-worded statement in response, stating that the selected players had committed a ‘very serious infraction’ by refusing to play for the country.
The group of players who were involved in yesterday’s meeting will, according to Relevo, ‘communicate their decision to the Spanish FA together on Friday.’
It adds: ‘The players want to be forceful with their actions and convey the reasons to the federative entity.’
‘Their main arguments revolve around the treatment received by the integrity area, the communication, marketing, and football departments,’ Relevo states.
‘In the latter, the players do not trust, despite their attempts to convince them of a desire for changes that have not occurred, in Rafa del Amo, president of women’s football in the RFEF – despite having submitted his resignation -, and Ana Álvarez, director.’
The outlet states: ‘The players would not return to the current leaders (of the Spanish FA)’
According to Relevo, the lack of sensitivity given to Jenni Hermoso, the pressures she received from Rubiales and the Spanish FA were decisive factors the squad have used to make their decision.
It comes after former Spain FA president Luis Rubiales announced his resignation last week after he sparked outrage by forcefully kissing Spain star Hermoso on the lips during the medal ceremony at the 2023 Women’s World Cup final.
Today, he was ordered not to go within 200 metres of Jenni Hermoso or contact her after he made his first court appearance for allegedly forcibly kissing her.