Spain World Cup winning players reiterate strike intention despite call-up

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Striking Spanish internationals called up to the women’s team reiterated their desire not to form part of the squad in a new blow for the shaken Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). New coach Montse Tome called up 15 of the Women’s World Cup winners earlier Monday for Nations League matches, most of whom had said they did not want to play for their country until wider changes had been made at the federation.

Former president Luis Rubiales resigned three weeks after he forcibly kissed midfielder Jenni Hermoso following Spain’s triumph in Sydney on August 20, after receiving an unprecedented worldwide backlash. Over 80 Spain players went on strike after the incident and despite Rubiales’ resignation and controversial coach Jorge Vilda being sacked, 39 players maintained their stance in a statement late Monday, demanding more structural change.

Tome did not select Hermoso, 33, in the squad, saying it was to protect her. “Protect me from what? And from whom?” Hermoso posted on X, formerly Twitter. She accused the Spanish federation of seeking to “intimidate and threaten” the World Cup champion players by calling them up against their will for the upcoming matches.

The players called up by Tome who were in the 39 all published a statement on social media, including two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas.

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