Jenni Hermoso accuses Spanish football federation of manipulation

New Spain women's coach Montse Tome has called up 20 players who were refusing to play for the team.

New Spain women's coach Montse Tome has called up 20 players who were refusing to play for the team. Photo: AP

Spain women’s World Cup champion Jenni Hermoso has accused the Spanish football federation of doing a “strategy of division and manipulation” after new team coach Montse Tome named her squad including players who had announced a boycott.

“The players are certain that this is yet another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate and threaten us with legal repercussions and economic sanction,” she said on Tuesday on social media service X, formerly called Twitter.

Hermoso, however, was not named in the squad because it was the “best way to protect her,” Tome said.

Hermoso said in her statement: “Protect me from what? And from whom? We have been searching for weeks – months, even – for protection from the RFEF that never came.”

Hermoso has been in the spotlight since former RFEF president Luis Rubiales kissed her on the lips during the trophy ceremony after the 1-0 win over England in Sydney last month.

Hermoso has said several times she didn’t consent to the kiss.

Several players, including the entire World Cup-winning squad, said they would not play for Spain as long as Rubiales was president.

He resigned last week after initially refusing to step down, but the players continued the boycott and demanded further personnel changes in the federation.

But Tome, who had been due to name her squad last Friday after replacing the sacked Jorge Vilda, still included 15 of the world champions in her 23-player squad on Monday for the upcoming Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland.

In response, the players released a statement on Monday evening saying: “We will study the possible legal consequences to which the RFEF exposes us by putting us on a list from which we had asked not to be called for reasons already explained publicly and in more detail to the RFEF.”

The president of Spain’s governing sports body CSD stressed if the players don’t compete “the government will have to enforce the law, to my shame and misfortune. But the law is the law.”

According to the Spanish sports law, refusing to compete despite being nominated is a particularly serious offence that can result in fines of between $3210 ($5000 ) and $30,000 ($47,000) and bans of between two and 15 years.


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