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HomeWorldSpanish Soccer Star Accuses Federation Of Threatening Women's World Cup Winners |...

Spanish Soccer Star Accuses Federation Of Threatening Women’s World Cup Winners | International news

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MADRID (AP) — Some of Spain’s World Cup-winning players began reporting to training camp Tuesday despite not wanting to be called up to the national team as they fought for changes in the soccer federation.

Local media showed some of the players arriving at the team’s hotel in Madrid, a day after new coach Montse Tomé ignored their decision not to play until their demands for reform in the federation were met.

The players said in a statement Monday that they were caught off guard by the call and did not plan to end their boycott, but those who do not show up risk breaking a Spanish sports law that requires athletes to respond to the call. . of national teams unless there are circumstances that prevent them from playing, such as an injury.

It was the latest embarrassing chapter in Spanish soccer in a crisis sparked by former federation president Luis Rubiales kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain won the Women’s World Cup last month.

Eurasian sports images via Getty Images

Hermoso, who claimed not to consent to the kiss during the awards ceremony, accused the federation of trying to intimidate the players. choose them for the national team although they asked not to be summoned.

He said in a statement early Tuesday that the federation’s decision to call up nearly half of the 39 players who said they would not play for the national team in protest was “irrefutable proof” that “nothing has changed.”

The players had made it clear they would not return until their demands for significant change and new leadership in the federation were met, but Tomé on Tuesday chose 15 of the players who helped Spain win its first Women’s World Cup last month. .

Tomé left Hermoso off the list “as a way to protect her,” he said.

“Protect me from what?” Beautiful said. “A claim was made stating that the environment within the federation would be safe for my colleagues to rejoin, however, at the same press conference it was announced that I would not be recalled as a means of protecting myself.”

Tomé said he spoke with Hermoso and the other players, and said he was confident they would all report to training camp on Tuesday.

The squad announcement was initially scheduled for Friday, but was postponed because an agreement had not been reached with the players.

Spain’s acting Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, said on Tuesday that the government would try to help find a solution to the impasse.

“We ask the federation to solve the insufficiencies of this anomalous call and change the federative structures so that it becomes a space of security, competitiveness and professionalism to which the players and all Spaniards have the right,” Iceta told local media. “What cannot be done is to continue committing injustices and harming players who have given their best and have won a world title for the first time in history.”

The government said it was talking to the players, and the president of the country’s sports council, the government’s top sports authority, was expected to meet with them sometime on Tuesday.

On Monday, the federation issued a statement publicly reiterating to players its commitment to structural changes.

“The people who now ask us to trust them are the same ones who announced the list of players who have asked NOT to be called up,” Hermoso stated. “The players are sure that this is another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate us and threaten us with legal repercussions and financial sanctions.”

The players said Monday they would study the possible legal consequences of not showing up for training camp, but said they believed the federation could not force them to join the team. They argued that the call-up was not made in accordance with current FIFA rules and that some of the players, especially those abroad, would not be able to show up in time.

“I want to once again show all my support for my colleagues who have been taken by surprise and forced to react to another unfortunate situation caused by the people who continue to make decisions within (the federation),” Hermoso said. “That’s why we’re fighting and that’s why we do it this way.”

Among the players’ demands was the resignation of interim president Pedro Rocha and the renewal of the women’s team roster.

Last year, 15 players rebelled against former coach Jorge Vilda asking for a more professional environment. Tomé, Vilda’s assistant at the World Cup, included some of the players who rebelled on his first list.

Spain will play Nations League matches against Sweden on Friday and Switzerland on September 26. The team planned to practice in Valencia instead of Madrid before traveling to Sweden.



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