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Surprise Exclusion: Jennifer Hermoso Left Out of Spain’s Soccer Team

Jennifer Hermoso, the celebrated FIFA Women’s World Cup champion from Spain, has found herself out of the national team. In a bold move, she has accused the federation of employing intimidation tactics against her and her triumphant teammates.

This revelation comes at a time when the federation has decided to include nearly half of the 39 players who previously refused to join the national team as a form of protest, despite their earnest appeals.

Credits: Reuters

Hermoso, who vehemently expressed her non-consent to the contentious kiss planted on her by former football federation president Luis Rubiales during the World Cup awards ceremony just last month, has boldly asserted that the federation’s decision to recall protesting players serves as “undeniable evidence” that “nothing has changed.”

The protesting players had called for significant reforms and new leadership within the federation before agreeing to return. However, new coach Montse Tome has handpicked 15 of the pivotal players who contributed to Spain’s historic Women’s World Cup victory.

Tome stated that she omitted Hermoso from the roster to safeguard her, a decision that left Hermoso perplexed. She questioned, “Protect me from what?” and expressed her frustration. This expulsion  news came in after Hermoso was given the assurance that the federation’s environment would be safe for her colleagues.

Tome claimed to have held discussions with Hermoso and other players, expressing confidence that they would all comply with the mandatory training camp attendance. However, on Monday, the players remained resolute, declaring their surprise and a continued boycott.

Nonetheless, the Spanish government issued a stern warning, threatening consequences for striking players who failed to participate in the national team camp. Victor Francos, president of Spain’s High Council for Sports (CSD), clarified that, in the absence of the selected players, they would be compelled to enforce the country’s sports law, which categorizes non-attendance at a national team call-up as a “very serious” infraction.

Hermoso has openly criticized those in authority, asserting that this is another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate and threaten the players with legal repercussions and economic sanctions. Although the call-up did not meet the current FIFA regulations, few players did heed the call and reported for training on Tuesday.

Spain is now slated to face Sweden in UEFA Women’s Nations League action on Friday, followed by a match against Switzerland on September 26.