Six Spanish international players, five of whom had been on strike since the Rubiales affair, finally showed up on Tuesday at a first gathering of their selection in Madrid, after having reaffirmed on Monday that they did not wish to play again with La Roja for the moment.
Real Madrid player Olga Carmona, who scored the winning goal in the World Cup final on August 20 against England, and four other internationals on strike, joined their coach and her staff in a hotel near the Madrid airport, noted an AFP journalist.
All were signatories of the press release published Friday, in which 39 players, including 21 of the 23 world champions, announced that the conditions were not met for them to play again with Spain.
They demand profound structural changes within the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), considering the resignation of its president Luis Rubiales following his forced kiss imposed on Jenni Hermoso, and the dismissal of coach Jorge Vilda, whose methods they criticized, as insufficient. .
A sixth player, Athenea del Castillo, also showed up, while other internationals are expected in the afternoon at the Oliva camp, near Valencia, to prepare for the Nations League match in Sweden on Friday. .
Asked by a journalist if she was "happy" to be on the team, goalkeeper Misa Rodriguez replied "no", confirming the fact that the strikers were returning against their will, due to the potential sanctions they would face. risk.
“If the players do not show up, the government must enforce the law. I’m sorry to say it like this, but we have to do what we have to do,” warned the president of the Superior Sports Council (CSD) Victor Francos on Cadena Ser radio.
Spain's 2022 sports law states that failing to attend national team call-ups constitutes a "very serious" offense. Potential fines range from 3,000 to 30,000 euros, and players can even lose their license for up to five years.
Victor Francos, also Secretary of State for Sports, must now meet with the players to try to get out of the crisis, sources close to the CSD confirmed to AFP.
Upon arrival at the hotel, coach Montse Tomé assured that the 20 players on strike would accept their summons. She created a surprise on Monday by announcing a list of fifteen world champions and other players, who had asked not to be selected pending a total overhaul of the Federation, but not Jenni Hermoso.
On the account .
Dismissed by Tomé “to protect her”, Hermoso accused the Spanish federation of “intimidating and threatening” the world champions. Reacting to the coach's words, N.10 asked: “Protect me from what, or who?”
“The RFEF has no right to deprive Spain of its women's national team, especially after winning a World Cup,” Spanish Minister of Culture and Sports Miquel Iceta said on Tuesday, demanding that the Spanish Federation to be “a place of security, competitiveness and professionalism.”
In addition to government support, the world champions received that of their future opponents. “If they feel that they have to boycott for something to happen, it is clear that we support them,” assured Swedish international Filippa Angeldahl.
Goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl wrote on
Spain must face Sweden on Friday and Switzerland on September 26 in the League of Nations, a qualifying tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, without it being known yet whether the world champions will be present on the field.