It’s been less than a month since Spain’s women’s soccer team was crowned world champions, and its next draft is still mired in chaos. 23 players have been called by the federation to Madrid and Valencia this Tuesday to begin preparations for the League of Nations, but coach Montse Tome still does not know how many will attend the event.
Tome and several members of his team have already arrived at the conference hotel in Madrid. The players will also be able to travel to Valencia, from where the team is expected to travel to Gothenburg, where they will face Sweden this Friday. The fact that several of them are in the United States or the United Kingdom with their teams may make the question of whether they will arrive on time for the call even longer.
Spain will compete in the coming days for a place at the 2024 Olympic Games and, judging by the number of players who rejected the national team on Monday night, Tome will count only five of them. : Enith Salón, Athenea del Castillo, Inma Gabarro, Rosa Marquez and María Méndez. These last two were included in the list for the first time and did not participate in the previous announcements.
What happened in the last hours?
On Monday afternoon, four days before the next match, Thome announced the squad list for the Nations League, which includes 15 World Cup winners. There are also six “15”: Irene Paredes, Aitana Bonmat, Mariona Caldentay, Ona Butle, Lucia Garcia and Laia Alexandre, along with Alexia Putela, who showed solidarity with them despite being injured.
They are among an initial group of 15 players who, before going to Australia, asked not to be selected before the changes in the federation, that is, before the current crisis sparked by the Rubiales case.
Jenny Hermoso, who is currently playing for the Mexican team Pachuca, is not among those called up. Tome said this Monday that it was “the best way to protect him,” and Hermoso responded with a stern statement: “What did you protect me from?”
Shortly after 10pm on Monday, Barcelona goalkeeper Kata Kohl was the first to issue a statement saying they had announced a few days ago that they did not want to be called up. Another 18 players shared the same text on social networks: Alexia Putelas, Lucia Garcia, Terre Abeleira, Mariona Caldentei, Patri Guijarro, Laia Codina, Ona Battle, Irene Paredes, Mapi Leon, Aytana Bonmat, Misa Rodriguez, Amama. Alexander, Ohian Hernandez, Eva Navarro, Maria Perez, Esther Gonzalez, and Olga Carmona.
The group was also among the 39 signatories to a text published on the 15th – the day Tome was originally due to present his list – in which they asked for “strong changes” to the selection before returning. Among these amendments, the players demanded “zero tolerance” for those who “had, encouraged, concealed or applauded attitudes that are against the dignity of women” and demanded the resignation of the RFEF president.
Both this Monday and the letter signed by the players confirm that the changes that have taken place in the federation are not enough. All the signatories called for changes to feel “in a safe place where women are respected, there is a commitment to women’s football and where we can achieve our maximum results”.
“What we don’t want is to sanction them”
The sports law considers non-attendance at the call-ups of the national team as a “very serious” violation. Unexcused absences are punishable by a fine of between 3,000 and 30,000 euros, a possible license suspension of two to fifteen years, and a ban on access to stadiums for no more than five years.
Victor Francos, president of the Supreme Sports Council, explained this Monday on Cadena SER that “nothing can be achieved with threats and intimidation”. Francos added that “we are totally in favor of the players” and was concerned “about our show”.
Spanish regulations stipulate that the CSD is the entity responsible for sanctioning, even though the call had to be agreed to by the federation. “If they don’t show up, the government will have to use the law, it’s my shame; But the law is the law. The problem is: “I will summon you and if you don’t come, I will impose other sanctions on you,” said Francos.
The leader added that he would try to contact the captains this Tuesday morning to let them know that “the government’s commitment will follow all the consequences” and that “we are going to do what is necessary to resolve this”, but that the CSD also wants them. Competing because “we want them to be Olympic champions.” However, Francos reiterated that he respects the players’ decision: “What we don’t want is to sanction them.”
Players apply FIFA regulations
The players believe in the statement that the call was not made “on time”. In accordance with the provisions of Article 3.2 of Annex I of the FIFA Regulations on Player Status and Transfer. “We understand that the RFEF is not in a position to require us to attend.”
FIFA rules referred to by players It states that teams wishing to call up a player “must do so in writing at least 15 days prior to the first day of the international period (see Article 1, Section 4, Appendix 1) in which the representative team’s activities require it.”
Tome’s call-up this Monday, however, comes just four days before Spain’s match against Sweden in the Nations League, UEFA’s competition that determines the teams that qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
In addition, FIFA requires teams to notify each player “at least 15 days before the start of the relevant release period”, as well as the club they are competing for. Teams then have six days to confirm players’ attendance.
Source: El Diario