Jennifer Hermoso excluded from the Spanish soccer team squad | ET REALITY

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Spain unveiled its squad on Monday for the women’s national team’s first two matches since its World Cup victory, and a post-match kiss that plunged women’s soccer into turmoil. The list excluded eight of the players from the winning team. Among those excluded was Jennifer Hermoso, who was forcibly kissed by who at that time was the country’s top soccer executive.

“We are with Jenni. We believe that it is the best way to protect her,” said the new coach, Montse Tomé, at a press conference of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, when asked why Hermosa had not been chosen to play in the UEFA Nations League. which is the qualifier for European teams at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Earlier this month, Hermoso filed a criminal sexual assault complaint against former soccer boss Luis Rubiales after he kissed her during the World Cup medal ceremony in Sydney, Australia.

Tomé’s decision to exclude Hermoso and seven other world champions, three of whom are injured and one now retired, from such an important competition comes amid a high-stakes showdown between Spain’s star players and the national football. federation.

In August, after winning the World Cup, the team, including players who were on Ms. Tomé’s squad on Monday, demanded changes in management and threatened not to play if changes were not made.

On Friday, Hermosa and 20 of the 23 members of the winning team signed a joint statement with other Spanish players saying “it is time to fight” and reinstating their demands for a restructuring of “the management positions of the Royal Spanish Football Federation” to ensure a “safe place where women are respected.” But they didn’t explicitly threaten not to play.

On Monday night, with their demands still unmet, it was unclear whether all the players in Ms. Tomé’s squad would agree to play or whether they would boycott the matches against Sweden and Switzerland that begin on Friday, in support of Ms. Beautiful.

If they decide not to play, they could face consequences, including fines or temporary bans, according to the National Sports Council.

“I trust that they are professional world champions and that they love their profession,” Tomé said, adding that he had spoken to the players over the past few days.

in a statement posted on social media On Monday night, the players’ union Futpro stated that the joint statement issued by the players on Friday made it clear that “without room for misinterpretation, our firm wishes not to be called up, for reasons that are justified.”

“We regret that our federation has put us in a situation we would never have wanted,” Monday’s statement said.

Minutes later, AFE, Spain’s main players’ union, also issued a statementdeclaring his “astonishment at the lack of dialogue from the Royal Spanish Football Federation about the majority position of the players who have been called up based on arguments that must be respected.”

Ivana Andrés, one of the captains of the World Cup team, is currently suffering from a sports injury. She is one of the champions who is not on Mrs. Tomé’s roster. In a televised interview Monday night, Andrés said: “The most important thing is that we want to play.”

But “we want to be treated with respect,” he added, referring to the federation.

Some Spaniards also expressed dismay at the list, including a well-known politician. “It is not a call. It is a threat,” said Gabriel Rufián, a member of Parliament for a Catalan independence party.

Swiss player Ana-Maria Crnogorčević, who currently plays for Spanish side Atlético Madrid, also shared her disbelief on social media. “This is crazy,” she said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Both the players and the federation have a lot to lose if Tomé cannot assemble a team in time for Friday’s game in Sweden.

Sports commentator Guillem Balagué explained that Spain will jeopardize its Olympic ticket if the players boycott the match against Sweden. Only “the two finalists of the Nations League will be, along with the French team, in Paris 2024,” said Balagué.

Over the past month, the federation has taken some steps to appease its star players. They urged Rubiales to resign, which he did. He appeared in court on Friday in relation to sexual assault allegations made by Ms Hermoso. Subsequently, a restraining order was issued against her prohibiting her from contacting Mrs. Hermoso. Jorge Vilda, coach of the national team, was fired earlier this month. Last year he had been accused of controlling and sexist behavior by team members.

On Monday morning, the federation said in a statement that it ensures a “safe environment for players” and is committed to making changes within the organization. But he did not specify details of the changes he intends to make or a timeline.

Although Tomé replaced Vilda, becoming the first woman to hold the highest position in Spain, her appointment is not without controversy. Tomé came under fire when she participated in a standing ovation for Rubiales on August 25, following a defiant speech in which she accused Hermoso of initiating the kiss and criticized “false feminism.”

The statement issued by the players on Friday called for “zero tolerance” towards members of the federation who have “held, incited, hidden or applauded attitudes against the dignity of women.”

“I shouldn’t have done it,” Ms. Tomé said of her participation on Monday.

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