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HomefootballJenni Hermoso says Spain squad announcement shows ‘nothing has changed’

Jenni Hermoso says Spain squad announcement shows ‘nothing has changed’

MADRID – Jenni Hermoso said the decision to call up players who are boycotting the Spanish women’s football team was proof that “nothing has changed” at the country’s federation (RFEF), even after the resignation of its president over the Women’s World Cup kiss scandal.

After most of Spain’s World Cup-winning squad were on Monday selected for upcoming games, the players reiterated that they would continue their boycott, which came after Luis Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips during the trophy presentation ceremony in Australia on Aug 20.

Should the players refuse the call-up, they could face fines of up €30,000 (S$43,700) and the suspension of their federation licence for two to 15 years under Spain’s Sports Act.

Victor Francos, the head of Spain’s government national sports agency, told SER radio station if the players did not show up “the government must apply the law”.

Hermoso, who was not called up, said the players had been “caught by surprise” by the call-ups and were forced to react to “another unfortunate situation caused by the people who continue to make decision within the RFEF”.

“The players are certain that this is yet another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate and threaten us with legal repercussion and economic sanctions,” the 33-year-old striker said on social media.

“It is yet more irrefutable proof that shows that even today, nothing has changed.”

Last Friday, 39 players, including 21 of the 23 World Cup players, said in a statement that the conditions were not right for their return to La Roja and called for more changes in various federation departments.

The RFEF did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

It said in a statement earlier on Monday it was aware of the need for “structural changes” and urged the players to join “this change led by the Federation”, while guaranteeing a safe environment for them.

Montse Tome, who has replaced Jorge Vilda as coach of the national team, suggested Hermoso was left out of the squad because of the intense media attention she had received in the past month.

“We stand with Jenni… we believe the best way to protect her is like this, but we are counting on Jenni,” she said.

Hermoso asked who she needed protection from.

“A claim was made today stating that the environment within the federation would be safe for my colleagues to rejoin yet at the press conference it was announced that they were not calling me as a means to protect me,” she said.

“Protect me from what? And from whom?” REUTERS, AFP

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