Spain women's new coach Montse Tome called up 15 players who won the Women's World Cup
Barcelona (AFP) - New Spain coach Montse Tome called up the majority of the Women’s World Cup winning players into her squad for upcoming Nations League matches, but left out Jenni Hermoso on Monday – despite the fact many of them have not ended their strike.
Midfielder Hermoso was in the eye of the storm that shook Spanish football over the past month after former Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales forcibly kissed her, with 39 players striking from the national team despite his resignation and coach Jorge Vilda’s sacking.
Spanish media reported earlier Monday that most of the World Cup winning players would not be included in the squad because they still wanted more changes, with the Spanish federation (RFEF) publishing a statement urging the players to return earlier Monday afternoon.
Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas was named in the squad by Tome, along with Barcelona team-mates Mapi Leon and Patri Guijarro, a duo who were not at the World Cup because of another protest against the RFEF and Vilda.
Tome named 15 players who were part of the World Cup squad in the list for the Nations League qualifiers against Sweden and Switzerland on September 22 and 26 respectively, saying she had spoken to the players before doing so.
“I trust in that the players are professionals, they have just become champions of the world, they love the national team, and I know they will be here with us tomorrow,” Tome told a news conference.
“Today we start a new era in the national team, that’s something good, beautiful, all players have the chance to be here and all have the same opportunities.”
Tome said she left Hermoso out of the squad to protect her. “We are with Jenni on everything, and with all the players,” added the new coach.
“The best way to protect her is like this, I have worked five years with her.”