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Jennifer Hermoso Excluded From Spain’s Soccer Team Roster


Spain unveiled its roster on Monday for the first two matches of the women’s national team since the team’s World Cup win — and a postgame kiss that plunged women’s soccer into turmoil.

Many of the players chosen to play for Spain, however, have made it clear that they are unwilling to take the field unless management changes are made at the soccer federation, and the announcement and the outraged response from many of the players highlighted the uncertainty and mistrust pervading the program.

Only eight of the World Cup winners were left off Monday’s roster, including three who are injured, one who has retired — and Jennifer Hermoso, the star player who was forcibly kissed by the man who was Spain’s top soccer executive at the time.

“We are with Jenni. We believe it’s the best way to protect her,” said the new coach, Montse Tomé, at a Royal Spanish Football Federation news conference, when she was asked why Ms. Hermoso had not been chosen to play in the UEFA Nations League, which is the qualifier for European teams in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Ivana Andrés, one of the captains of the World Cup team, said in a televised interview on Monday evening that, “The most important thing is that we want to play.”

But, said Ms. Andrés, who is currently injured and was left off the roster, “we want them to treat us with respect,” referring to the federation.

The president of Spain’s state-run National Sports Council, Víctor Francos, has also weighed in, saying on a late-night radio show on Monday night that “if the players don’t show up, the government must apply the law,” in reference to the sanctions the players could face. Mr. Francos added, “Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., I will call some of the players and speak with them.”

Some Spaniards also expressed dismay at the roster, including a well-known politician. “It’s not a call-up. It’s a threat,” said Gabriel Rufián, a member of Parliament with a pro-Catalan independence party.

A Swiss player, Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic, who currently plays for the Spanish team Atlético de Madrid, also shared her disbelief on social media. “This is insane,” she said in a post on the X platform.

Both the players and the federation have a lot to lose if Ms. Tomé cannot rally together a team in time for Friday’s match in Sweden.

The sports commentator Guillem Balagué said that Spain’s Olympic hopes would be jeopardized if the players were to boycott the match against Sweden, because only two teams from Europe — along with France, the host nation — will advance to the Olympics.

Over the last month, the federation has taken some measures to address the concerns of its star players. They urged Mr. Rubiales to resign, which he did.


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