Jenni Hermoso has been left out of Spain’s squad for the Nations League games against Sweden and Switzerland.
It has been a tumultuous and dramatic time for Spanish football since they won the World Cup last month after disgraced former president Luis Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips following their final victory over England.
He eventually resigned from his position despite being accused of sexual assault and coercion, while controversial former manager Jorge Vilda was sacked from his position.
There was more drama last week when 39 players signed a statement insisting they would not be available for selection until changes were made to the structure of the national team and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). This comes after a total of 81 players signed a letter last month saying they would refuse the call-up until there was a change in leadership at the Spanish Football Federation.
However, new coach Montse Tome has named her squad for the international break and included 15 of the World Cup winners, but not Hermoso.
The Spanish Football Association has named 15 of its World Cup winning squad – but not Jenni Hermoso
After announcing her squad, Tome said: “We are with Jenni and all the players. “As for Jenni, we felt this was the best way to protect her in this squad.”
Tome also hinted at a breakthrough with her angry players after announcing her squad as she reflected on the surprise selection of 15 players.
She added: “We experienced a special situation and experienced something extraordinary.”
“The association has been working to talk to them and work with them and we are very excited about the journey so far in the Nations League.”
She continued: “I have been working with them (the players) for five years, although in a different role, and I have always felt their trust.”
‘I feel good. I have always been in the shadows, but I have confidence in my work and want to do things well and work.
“I enjoy what I do, we have the best football players in the world and we cannot be forgotten.” We are undergoing a change in the structure of the association and I have the utmost confidence that we can do things well and that our players are in a climate of trust and security.”
Tome – who previously served as Vilda’s assistant – was due to announce her squad on Friday, before the players released the aforementioned statement, which read: “The changes made are not enough to make players feel safe, where women are respected, where there is support for women’s football and where we can maximize our potential.
“The players of the Spanish team have always been open to dialogue and have tried to convey clear and well-founded reasons that we believe are necessary to be able to carry out our work at the highest level with the respect we deserve.”
“The changes made to the RFEF are based on zero tolerance towards those people who, from a position within the RFEF, have had attitudes that have violated, instigated, hidden or applauded the dignity of women.”
“We strongly believe that strong changes are needed in the leadership of the RFEF and particularly in the area of women’s football.”
“We would like to end this statement by expressing that the players of the Spanish team are professionals and that what gives us the most pride is to wear the jersey of our national team and lead our country to the highest positions.”
“We believe that it is time to fight to show that these situations and practices have no place in football or in society, that the current structure requires changes and we are doing this so that the next generations in football and be able to be equal at the level we have, everyone deserves it.’
The 15 world champions in the squad are then selected Marca reported on Monday how the RFEF had launched a public and written commitment to renewal and change in the national team.
The report said this was a last-ditch attempt to get some stars to reverse their decisions.
Tomes’ comments in her press conference suggest that this attempt was successful in some areas, with the RFEF guaranteeing “a secure environment and a commitment to a climate of mutual trust.”
The full statement read: “The RFEF wants to convey to the national players the public commitment that the new management of the institution that governs football in Spain has acquired.” The aim is to define the strategic axes in this new phase of the association, which is both Both football and society demand to be expressed clearly and without internal or external interpretations.
“The association itself is aware of the need for structural changes, as the President of the Administrative Commission, Pedro Rocha, has already announced and which has recently become apparent. This belief has led to difficult decisions being taken in recent days, which continue to be adopted because of the conviction that renewal is necessary.
“In this sense, it is absolutely essential to implement these changes, clarify each of the behaviors and conduct that may have occurred and therefore act with professionalism and justice, regulating the relevant responsibilities in each case.”
It continued: “It is obvious that the association, society and the players themselves have the same goal: renewal and the beginning of a new phase in which football is the great beneficiary of this entire process.” For this reason, the Players are encouraged to join this Federation-led change, with the understanding that the transformations that must continue must be solid and fair.
We guarantee a safe environment for the players and are committed to creating a climate of mutual trust in order to work together to ensure that women’s football continues to develop significantly further. “We have to start showcasing the stardom that the national players have worked so hard to achieve.”
The original 39 players who signed Friday’s letter insisting they would not play for Spain until changes were made are said to be among the 23 stars from World Cup Season 12 of the famous ‘Las 15’ have been added.
They decided to exclude themselves from international duty last year after writing to the Spanish Football Federation They would not be available for selection as long as Vilda remained in his position.
However, in response, the RFEF issued a strongly worded statement declaring that the selected players had committed a “very serious breach” by refusing to play for the country.
Spain face Sweden on Friday before facing Switzerland next Tuesday in their first home game since winning the World Cup.