Spain’s women footballers say boycott remains despite call-up for international matches

Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso, who was kissed on the lips by ex-federation president Luis Rubiales after her side won the Women’s World Cup, has not been picked for the first squad named since the scandal erupted.

New Spain head coach Montse Tome said she had talked to Hermoso and decided not to include her in order to “protect her”.

Following the kiss during celebrations after the national side beat England 1-0 in the Sydney final on 20 August, the whole World Cup-winning team went on strike.

They called for wide-ranging reforms and new leadership as Rubiales initially refused to resign before later quitting.

Jennifer Hermoso pictured during the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney on 20 August

Last Friday, 21 of the 23 players involved in the tournament – including Hermoso – said the strike would continue until they were satisfied by the level of structural reform at the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

That same day, Rubiales was given a restraining order after sexual assault allegations by Hermoso in the wake of the kiss.

A judge banned the former president of the Spanish FA from contacting the player or going within 200m of her.

More on Luis Rubiales

Despite Rubiales eventually stepping down earlier this month, the players said not all of their demands had been met.

However, 15 players who were in the World Cup-winning squad have now been called up by Tome, with Hermoso one of eight absent for the Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland.

“We are all with Jenni and with all of the players,” Tome said.

“I believe this was the best way to protect her.”

Luis Rubiales arrives at the high court in Madrid on 15 September

Read more:
Who is Luis Rubiales?
What did Rubiales and Hermoso say in kiss row?

Tome, who was an assistant at the Women’s World Cup to ex-coach Jorge Vilda, did not say whether it was Hermoso who asked not to be called up.

Also missing are captain Ivana Andres, Irene Guerrero, Mariona Caldentey, Laia Codina, Alba Redondo, Rocio Galvez and Claudia Zornoza.

Tome said she had spoken to all the World Cup-winning players who she picked and expected them to report to training camp on Tuesday.

She said no player had asked not to be called up, but would not say if they had agreed to end their boycott.

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