Jenni Hermoso has accused the Spanish Football Federation of trying to “intimidate and threaten” their World Cup-winning players by calling them up against their will.
Fifteen members of the team that helped lift the trophy have been included in a squad for two upcoming Nations League fixtures, despite them reiterating they are boycotting the national side in protest after then Spanish FA boss Luis Rubiales kissed forward Hermoso following last month’s final.
Hermoso has also hit out at the decision to leave her out of the squad, with new coach Montse Tome saying that decision was made to “protect her”.
The squad were due to meet up today for the first time since the World Cup, with reports in Spain suggesting that as few as three players could be available.
A senior Spanish government minister today said they would look to sanction players if they continue to strike.
Hermoso feels the decision to call up players who are boycotting the team is proof that “nothing has changed” at the Spanish federation.
“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,” she said in a statement. “It is yet more irrefutable proof that shows that even today nothing has changed.”
On the decision to leave her out of the squad, Hermoso said: “A claim was made 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 [up] as a means to protect me. Protect me from what? And from whom?”
On Friday, the rebels released a statement saying that they would not return until further conditions were met, including reshaping certain departments within the federation.