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Spain's World Cup-winning women reject squad call-ups in the aftermath of Luis Rubiales debacle

Spain celebrate winning the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final

Spain celebrate winning the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. Photo: Nigel Keene / ProSportsImages / DPPI via AFP

Published Sep 15, 2023


Spain's Women's World Cup-winning squad will continue to reject national team call-ups unless there are more changes at the Spanish football federation following the scandal over Luis Rubiales' unsolicited kiss, a source close to the federation said Friday.

"They are not coming," the source told AFP just hours before new coach Montse Tome was set to announce her squad on Friday for the Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland on September 22 and 26.

Spanish football has been in turmoil since Rubiales forcibly kissed midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips in front of the world's media after Spain defeated England in the Women's World Cup final on August 20 in Australia.

A letter signed by 81 Spain players, including the 23 world champions, was released last month stating they would not play for the national team without significant changes at the head of the federation.

Since then Rubiales has resigned and the football federation sacked their controversial coach Jorge Vilda, named Tome in his stead and pledged further internal reforms. Tome was Vilda's former assistant manager.

Spanish media said the players would later on Friday release a statement outlining the changes that they still expect to see before they return to the pitch.

Meanwhile, Rubiales was set appear before a High Court judge on Friday over a complaint of sexual assault stemming from his allegedly unsolicited kiss on the lips Hermoso.