Furious Spain women stars forced to report for international duty amid threat of legal repercussions for boycott over World Cup kiss scandal


The squad arrived at the Tryp Alameda Aeropuerto Hotel in Madrid on Tuesday morning, with Misa Rodriguez the first one seen making her way through a sea of reporters before being joined by Olga Carmona, Oihane Hernandez, Tere Abelleira and Athenea del Castillo.

Some players have made their way straight to Valencia for training ahead of upcoming Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland.

New Spain manager Montse Tome, who became the first-ever female coach to manage the women's side when replacing Jorge Vilda at the start of the month, included 15 World Cup winners in her first squad.

Article continues below

The players then released a joint statement reiterating their intention to continue boycotting the national team, deepening the crisis that began when former Spain football federation president Luis Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony following the team's 2023 World Cup final victory over England.

Rubiales eventually resigned from his post, and could face criminal charges, but the players have continued to push for a restructuring of the RFEF. Victor Francos, the head of Spain's government national sports agency, warned that the players would leave themselves open to legal punishment if they continued their strike.

Franco also revealed that he will be holding showdown talks with the Spain squad to try and find a solution, in a bid to avoid having to impose any sanctions. Players can be disqualified for up to five years for refusing an international call-up, and could also face fines of up to €30,000.

Spain goalkeeper Rodriguez spoke to the media after reluctantly joining her team-mates in Madrid. When asked if she was happy to be named in the latest national team squad, Rodriguez told Marca: "No. I already said all the things I had to say in my statement. I think I was clear."

Hermoso, who has always maintained that her kiss with Rubiales was not consensual, was not included in the final squad, which Tome claimed was an attempt to "protect" her amid the ongoing saga.

However, the 33-year-old forward rubbished the manager's comments in a statement on social media, saying: "Protect me from what? And from whom?”

“The players are certain that this is yet another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate and threaten us with legal repercussion and economic sanctions.

“It is yet more irrefutable proof that shows that even today, nothing has changed.”