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Nations League: Spain Invite 15 World Cup Winners, Ignore Hermoso

Spain left out Jenni Hermoso in a call-up that included 15 footballers that triumphantly won the Women’s World Cup in Australia in August. The call-up…

Spain left out Jenni Hermoso in a call-up that included 15 footballers that triumphantly won the Women’s World Cup in Australia in August.

The call-up was ahead of the Nations League fixtures against Sweden on Friday and Switzerland on next Tuesday.

The majority of the players boycotted the team after the-then federation boss Luis Rubiales kissed forward Hermoso following last month’s final victory.

The kiss has caused issues among the federation and players which led to his Rubiales resignation.

On Friday, 39 players including 21 of the 23 World Cup winners said their strike would continue until further changes were made.

This is the first squad announcement by new coach Montse Tome, who replaced Jorge Vilda – considered a close friend of Rubiales, after he was sacked earlier this month, BBC Sport said.

The Spanish team got Tome as the first woman manager, who was Vilda’s assistant manager, after the crisis.

BBC reports that it is unclear if the players who have been called up have ended their strike, with Tome saying she had spoken to those selected but was unwilling to reveal what was discussed.

Earlier on Monday, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) had urged striking players to return to the national team.

“We stand with Jenni,” Tome said.

“We believe that the best way to protect her is like this, but we are counting on Jenni.”

Meanwhile, Barcelona duo Mapi Leon and Patri Guijarro – who were not included in Spain’s World Cup squad after signing an open letter against then-coach Vilda – have been named in Tome’s side.

“It’s the start of a new phase, the clock is ticking,” said Tome. “There is nothing behind us and we want to connect with these players.”

On Friday, the 39 players boycotting the national team released a statement saying they would not return until further conditions were met, including reshaping certain departments within the RFEF, adding that they did not yet “feel in a safe place”.

The RFEF responded by expressing its commitment to change being made “to restore the functioning of the entity”.

The Spanish government also gave assurance to players that changes will be made and there will be a greater representation of women in the federation.

Rubiales has been banned from going within 200m of Hermoso, who has said the kiss was not consensual, after the 33-year-old filed a legal complaint.

Appearing in court for the first time last Friday, Rubiales denied sexually assaulting Hermoso.

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