Spanish Women’s National Football Team Continues Boycott Despite Call-Ups
Spain’s women’s national football team players have restated their decision to boycott the national side, even though they’ve been called up for the upcoming Nations League fixtures. This move follows an incident last month in which then-Spanish FA boss Luis Rubiales kissed forward Jenni Hermoso, sparking a significant backlash.
A group of 81 players initiated the boycott after the incident, which resulted in Rubiales resigning. On Friday, 39 players, including 21 from the World Cup-winning squad, confirmed that their strike would persist until further changes were implemented, as they did not “feel in a safe place.”
The latest squad announcement was made by Montse Tome, the new coach who took over from Jorge Vilda after his recent dismissal. Tome is now the first woman to hold the position of Spain’s women’s head coach.
Despite being part of the triumphant World Cup-winning squad, 15 players were called up for the national team, including two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas. However, Jenni Hermoso was not included.
The players subsequently released a statement, expressing their regret at being “put in a position in which we never wanted to be.” They also mentioned their intention to explore the potential legal consequences of being called up against their wishes, citing their previous public explanations to the “Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).”
Earlier on Monday, the RFEF encouraged the striking players to return to the national team, insisting that they had “an obligation” to play if selected. The players’ demands include restructuring certain RFEF departments.
Mapi Leon and Patri Guijarro, who were omitted from Spain’s World Cup squad due to their involvement in an open letter against then-coach Vilda, were also named in Tome’s squad.
This ongoing standoff underscores the broader issues of consent, respect, and representation within women’s football, both in Spain and globally.