Spain Women's players refuse call-up and continue boycott after Rubiales exit

Spain’s players are continuing their national team boycott and are refusing to be part of the first squad under new head coach Montse Tome.

Last week, 39 Spanish players released a statement in which they claimed that the departures of Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spain’s Football Federation (RFEF), and Jorge Vilda, the head coach who guided the national team to their first World Cup trophy last month, were ‘not enough for the players to feel in a safe place, where women are respected’.

Spain’s players have called for further departures within the RFEF, claiming that there should be ‘zero tolerance towards those people who, from a position within the RFEF, have had, incited, hidden or applauded attitudes that go against the dignity of women’.

Despite the statement, Tome, who replaced Vilda as head coach of the women’s team earlier this month, selected 21 of the 39 players who had made it clear last week that they are unavailable for selection for Spain’s upcoming Nations League games against Sweden and Switzerland.

But Spain’s players have now reiterated their message and are refusing to travel to their training ground in Madrid ahead of Friday’s match against Sweden in Gothenburg.

A statement from Spain’s players released on Monday evening read: ‘The players of the senior women’s soccer team want to state, following the call and the subsequent press conference of the new national team coach, Montse Tomé, the following:

‘What was expressed in our statement of September 15, 2023, makes clear and without any option for another interpretation our firm will not to be summoned for justified reasons. These statements are still fully valid.

‘During the days following that statement, we want to make it known to the public that nothing different has been transmitted to any member of the RFEF, so we expressly ask that the information transmitted publicly be rigorous.

‘As elite professional players and after everything that has happened today, we will study the possible legal consequences to which the RFEF exposes us by putting us on a list from which we had asked not to be called for reasons already explained publicly and in more detail, to the RFEF, and with this make the best decision for our future and for our health.

‘It does seem relevant to us to point out, in this sense, that the call has not been made in a timely manner, in accordance with art. 3.2 of Annex I of the Regulations on the Statute and Transfer of FIFA Players, so we understand that the RFEF is not in a position to require us to go to it.

‘We regret once again that our Federation places us in a situation that we would never have liked.’

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