Disbelief. Perplexity. Indignation. Yesterday, the Spanish internationals experienced one of the strangest days they can remember. It was not easy to further fan the flames of the fire that is consuming Spanish women's football, but Montse Tomé managed to do it yesterday by summoning against their will 20 of the 39 footballers who last Friday had expressed their desire not to return to the national team until produced profound changes in the structure of the Federation. A real pulse. A true declaration of war towards some footballers who must now decide whether to remain firm in their principles, risking harsh sanctions that can go up to the disqualification of their licenses for five years, or return to the national team.
However, there is one exception. The twelve players who sent an email to the Federation in September last year asking not to be called up for reasons of mental health and have remained out of the team until now would continue to have legal protection that those who did attend the World Cup do not have. This is the case of Mapi León, Patri Guijarro, Amaiur Sarriegi, Laia Aleixandri and Lucía García.
In addition to these five players, Tomé's first list as senior coach includes 15 world champions. All of them except the Real Madrid player Athenea del Castillo asked not to be summoned, but the Federation turned a deaf ear and summoned them anyway. Jenni Hermoso is not there, who has a judicial process open against the former president of the Federation Luis Rubiales for his non-consensual kiss at the medal ceremony in the World Cup final.
The list was announced less than two hours after the Federation issued a statement urging the footballers to join the change and guaranteeing them "a safe environment" by betting on "a climate of mutual trust." Tomé assured that he had spoken with the players before announcing the list, but they unofficially denied it.
Yesterday was once again a marathon day. It started in the morning with the confirmation that none of the 39 had given in to the demands of the Federation, which gave until midnight to communicate whether or not they would return to the national team. They consider that they have been very clear in their requests and they want those responsible for the pressure on Jenni Hermoso away from the feminine. They insist that they have not asked for his dismissal – only that of Luis Rubiales – but for a restructuring, to remove them from the women's team. The Federation promised to undertake the changes they requested within a month, but without offering any guarantee. The players asked for a written commitment that never came, so they remained firm in their decision not to return.
The bomb exploded at 4:30 p.m., when the 23 names included in the first Montse Tomé list were revealed. Now they feel more deceived than ever, something they showed late last night by issuing a new statement. “We will study the possible legal consequences to which the RFEF exposes us by putting us on a list from which we had asked not to be called,” they stated. Furthermore, they assured that the call "has not been made on time" and, therefore, they consider that the Federation "is not in a position to require us to attend it."
The footballers are scheduled to meet today at 11:30 a.m. in Las Rozas, but at the time of going to press the situation was still chaotic.
Late in the afternoon, the players had not yet received the tickets to travel to Madrid and it seems difficult for those who play abroad to arrive on time if they attend the national team event, if not impossible in the case of Esther González, player who plays for Gotham in the American league.
The clubs also lived the day with uncertainty and did not receive the email from the Federation notifying them of the call-up of their players until the last hour of the day. A real chaos.