Spanish Players Maintain Boycott Despite National Team Call-Up.
Despite being summoned to the latest squad, Spanish players have reaffirmed their boycott of the women’s national team. This decision comes after a controversial incident involving Luis Rubiales, the former Spanish FA boss, who kissed forward Jenni Hermoso following last month’s final, leading to a widespread boycott by a group of 81 players.
On Friday, 39 players, including 21 World Cup-winners, announced their continued strike, citing concerns about their safety and the need for further changes. The boycott remains in effect, even as 15 players from the victorious World Cup squad were called up for upcoming Nations League fixtures. Notably, Alexia Putellas, a two-time Ballon d’Or winner, was among those called up, while Jenni Hermoso was excluded.
The players released a statement expressing their disappointment at being placed in this situation and indicated their intent to explore the legal ramifications of being called up against their wishes. They emphasized that the strike would persist until necessary adjustments were made.
This squad announcement marked the first under new coach Montse Tome, who succeeded Jorge Vilda and became the first woman to lead Spain’s women’s team. The RFEF (Spanish football federation) had previously urged the striking players to return, emphasizing their obligation to play if selected.
Barcelona duo Mapi Leon and Patri Guijarro, who were not part of Spain’s World Cup squad due to their stance against then-coach Vilda, were also named in Tome’s squad.
The ongoing situation has prompted calls for change within the RFEF, with the Spanish government pledging greater female representation in the federation. Luis Rubiales, who is banned from approaching Hermoso, has denied allegations of sexual assault made against him by the player.
Despite these developments, the boycott continues, as players await further progress on their demands and concerns for their well-being.