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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Spain women’s team squad latest update: players release statement and will not travel

New manager Montse Tomé has named her first squad for the upcoming Nations League, but the players have rejected the call up.

Update:
New manager Montse Tomé has named her first squad for the upcoming Nations League, but the players have rejected the call up.
CHEMA DIAZDIARIO AS

If you’re here asking what is going on with the Spain Women’s Team? then you’re in the right place, as it’s exactly why I’m typing this up. And I’ve already updated it three times with new, even crazier information...

Spain’s new manager, Montse Tomé named her first squad as team boss and she has called up plenty of the players who signed a statement after the World Cup final saying that they wouldn’t play again unless they saw real change in the Federation.

Montse Tomé had her official presentation as head coach scheduled for last Friday (15th September), but it was cancelled at short notice after the statement from the players in which they said that “the changes that have happened are not sufficient for the players to feel in a safe place, where women are respected.”

Today, on Monday 18th September, it was announced by the RFEF that “players are urged to join this change led by the Federation, understanding that the ongoing transformations must be robust and fair. We guarantee a safe environment for the players and advocate for a climate of mutual trust so that we can work together and ensure that women’s football continues to progress much stronger. We must begin to proudly display the star that the players have achieved with so much effort.”

Shortly after, Tomé named her squad with plenty of the World Cup winners who signed the official statement below:

So, what’s the latest? Are they going to play?

Well, what we know is that Tomé, who was Jorge Vilda’s number two during the World Cup, confirmed that she had “spoken to the players” but also said that she was “not going to reveal everything I said to them”. She also commented that it was a “out of the ordinary situation” and that the Federation has “worked to be able to speak to them and we have listened to them. We all form part of this and the key is have good communication. We are very excited.

Whether they play or not, whether they go to the call up, I suppose we have to wait and see. Montse Tomé sounded confident when she responded that she has “all the confidence in the players, I think at a professional level we are surrounded by a group of incredible players. A new era is starting, the timer is at zero. We are excited to connect with the players... I’m confident that the players are professionals; they are world champions and they love to play for the team. I know they are going to be with us tomorrow.”

Why was Jenni Hermoso not called up for Spain?

Tomé said that Pachuca forward Jenni Hermoso, perhaps the major absence from the squad, has not been called up in order to “protect her”. She said that “we are with Jenni in everything and with all the players. We think the way to help them is to be with her. I am the person responsible for everything here and we thought that the best way to protect her was to not call her up. I’ve worked with her for 5 years, I have played with her.”

As for the players who didn’t get called up, most notably Ivana Andrés, who lifted the trophy as captain, the coach said that “all the players have the possibility to be here if they have the ambition and playing level”.

What might come as the most shocking development of them all, despite the noise surrounding Jenni, is the inclusion of Barça pair Mapi León and Patri Guijarro, two of the players who refused to travel to the World Cup despite the talks that took place ahead of the tournament, are in the latest squad. That, we certainly didn’t see coming.

Montse Tomé (fifth from the left) was presented alongside her new technical staff at Las Rozas in Madrid.
Full screen
Montse Tomé (fifth from the left) was presented alongside her new technical staff at Las Rozas in Madrid.THOMAS COEXAFP

“I am not Jorge Vilda”

I am not Jorge Vilda”, Montse said, “I am a different person with my values and all the players know me. I don’t have any doubts what they feel and what they think of myself.” Montse Tomé's first press conference as Spain boss, if not entirely clear, was certainly an entertaining affair.

Tomorrow the players will, on paper, arrive at the Las Rozas training ground for the preparation ahead of the upcoming fixtures.

Spain play Sweden (September 22, 12:30pm) and Switzerland (Tuesday 26, 3pm) in the Nations League, games they need to win if they want to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2024.

The chaos continues...

After the announcement of the squad, it was revealed by various media outlets in Spain that is was not just the journalists in the room who were surprised by the unthinkable squad. According to both Cadena COPE and Relevo, the players and their respective clubs did not expect to be called up and found out - through social media, no less - that they had been selected at the same time as everything else. Montse Tomé's vague response of “it took a little longer than usual” becomes frankly laughable if the information from Spain’s media is to be believed. And, given the chaos, there’s not many reasons to think it’s untrue.

Relevo say that transport to Spain in order to meet up in Madrid at 11:30am on Tuesday 19 September is not secured for the players, many of whom do not reside in the country. As well as this, some players are even receiving legal advice on their options as to what they can do without being handed a punishment.

Players release statement saying they will not play for Spain despite call up

At around 10:15pm local time on September 18, the players called up to the squad released a statement saying that “the players of the Spanish National Team want to show that, given the squad and subsequent press conference from the new head coach Montse Tomé, the following: what was said in our statement makes clear and with no option for interpretation our firm decision not to be called up for justified reasons. These affirmations continue to be valid.

We want to make it public that during the days following that statement, we did not transmit anything different to that to anyone at the RFEF, which is why we expressly ask for that all information given be accurate.

As elite professionals, and after everything that has happened today, we will study the possible legal consequences the RFEF expose us to given that we have been called up to a squad to which we publicly expressed our desire not to be, for reasons already explained and in more detail to the RFEF, and with that we will make the best decision for our future and our health.

It seems relevant to us to point out that, in that sense, the call-up was not carried out in time and in the correct way, in accordance with the article 3.2 of Annex I of FIFA Regulations of the Status and Transfer of Players, which we understand that as a result the RFEF are not in a position to demand we attend.

We regret, once again, that our Federation puts us in a position that we never would have wanted.”

Spain Women’s National Team squad for the UEFA Nations League:

Goalkeepers:

  • Misa Rodríguez
  • Cata Coll
  • Enith Salon

Defenders:

  • Irene Paredes
  • Laia Alexandri
  • Oihane
  • Olga Carmona
  • Ona Batlle
  • Mapi León

Midfielders:

  • Aitana
  • Alexia
  • Patri Guijarro
  • María Pérez
  • Tere Abelleira
  • Rosa Márquez

Forwards:

  • Athenea del Castillo
  • Esther González
  • Eva Navarro
  • Inma Gabarro
  • Mariona
  • Lucía García