Jenni Hermoso says calling out players boycotting Spain’s women’s team shows “nothing has changed” at the country’s football federation.
Players have been boycotting the team since former federation president Luis Rubiales kissed Hermoso after the Women’s World Cup final last month.
It led to Rubiales’ resignation, while manager Jorge Vilda was fired.
New head coach Montse Tome has called up 15 members of the World Cup-winning squad, but Hermoso was left out.
Tome said the Pachuca forward had been left out of the upcoming Nations League matches “to protect her”, but Hermoso pointed out the inconsistencies after the federation promised “a safe environment” in a statement on Monday.
‘Protect me from what? And against whom?’ Hermoso said.
After the calls were announced on Monday, the players published a statement stressing that the boycott is still in effect and expressing regret that they had once again been “put in a position we never wanted to be in” and that they intended investigate possible legal options. consequences of being drafted against their will.
Hermoso, 33, accused the federation of using “manipulation” to “intimidate” players.
In a statement, Hermoso said: “We have been seeking protection from the RFEF for weeks – months even [Spanish football federation] that never came. The people asking us to trust them are the same people who today made public the list of players who asked not to be drafted.
“The players are certain that this is yet another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate and threaten us with legal repercussions and economic sanctions. It is yet more irrefutable evidence that shows that even today nothing has changed.”
A group of 81 players boycotted the team after Rubiales kissed Hermoso after last month’s final, and on Friday 39 players said their strike would continue until further changes were made, despite Rubiales resigning.
Before Tome’s selection announcement on Monday, the RFEF had urged standout players to return to the national team. The organization previously said the players have “an obligation” to play if selected.
Players can be fined if they refuse to show up and the federation’s licenses can be suspended under Spanish sports law.
Victor Francos, the head of the Spanish government’s national sports organization, told the SER radio station that if the players did not show up “the government must apply the law.”
Hermoso also offered its support to the players “who are surprised and forced to respond to a new unfortunate situation caused by the people who continue to make decisions within the RFEF”.
“This is why we fight and why we do it this way,” she added.
Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas was among 15 players called up to be part of the World Cup-winning squad in Australia and New Zealand.
This was the first selection announcement by Tome, who replaced Vilda, considered a close ally of Rubiales, after he was sacked earlier this month.
Tome, Vilda’s assistant manager, has become the first woman to hold the position of Spanish women’s boss.
Putellas’ Barcelona teammates Mapi Leon and Patri Guijarro – who were left out of Spain’s World Cup squad after signing an open letter against then-coach Vilda – were also named in the squad.
“It’s the beginning of a new phase, the clock is ticking,” said Tome.
“There is nothing behind us and we really want to connect with these players.”
Swiss striker Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic, who joined Atletico Madrid from Barcelona this summer, said the selection announcement was “disrespectful”.
“This is insane… how can you threaten your own players like this… call them to the national team when they said they want clear changes before coming back!” Crnogorcevic said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas said: “Everything is getting worse in the RFEF.”
On Friday, the 39 players boycotting the national team released a statement saying they would not return until further conditions were met, including reforming certain departments within the RFEF, adding that they were not yet “in a safe place felt.”
The RFEF responded by expressing its commitment to implement changes “to restore the functioning of the entity.”
The Spanish government also assured the players that changes will be made and that there will be greater representation of women in the federation.
Rubiales has been banned from coming within 200 meters of Hermoso, who has said the kiss was not consensual, after the 33-year-old filed a legal complaint.
When Rubiales first appeared in court last Friday, he denied sexually assaulting Hermoso.