The players appear in the national team for fear of being sanctioned

Frantic morning of calls and meetings.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
18 September 2023 Monday 16:23
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The players appear in the national team for fear of being sanctioned

Frantic morning of calls and meetings. The players are talking to the Higher Sports Council (CSD) to try to unblock the situation, but fearing not finding legal protection, they have decided to go to the national team's call. The first to do so was the Real Madrid goalkeeper, Misa Rodríguez, who was scheduled with the rest of the Madrid players and staff at a hotel near Barajas at 11 in the morning. The Canarian was clear when she was asked if she was happy to be on Tomé's list: "No."

Shortly after, Olga Carmona and Athenea del Castillo also arrived, the only one of the summoned world champions who had not signed the letter along with the rest of her teammates asking not to be summoned and the only one who did so with a smile. The rest of the internationals had long faces and resignation at having to go against their will to the national team's call. These footballers, together with Oihane Hernández, Tere Abelleira and Eva Navarro have formed the expedition of the six players who have traveled to Valencia from Madrid. Throughout the day the rest of the internationals will join from their destinations.

The concentration was not in Las Rozas at the request of the CSD itself, which wanted to find a neutral space for negotiations. For this reason, the soccer players from Madrid have not concentrated in the City of Soccer to undertake the trip to Valencia.

The conflict has taken such a dimension that the Government has decided to take action on the matter through the president of the CSD, Víctor Francos. "The Government has the obligation to intervene. We have the obligation to show our face and try to solve a problem," he said yesterday.

Throughout the morning she spoke with some players, including Alexia Putellas, and is scheduled to meet with all the internationals starting at 8 p.m. in Oliva (Valencia) where the team will be concentrated until their trip to Göteborg on Thursday.

This morning, the Minister of Sports himself, Miquel Iceta, has been firm in his defense of the footballers and has assured that the CSD "is going to dedicate itself personally to finding a solution." “We cannot continue committing injustices and harming the players,” he said.

The initial intention of the 23 soccer players summoned yesterday by Montse Tomé was not to appear before the Federation today. The new Spanish coach took office for the first time by declaring war on the players and summoning, against her will, 20 of the 23 international players who had publicly shown her desire not to be called up.

The athletes remained firm in their position and had no intention of attending the national team's call today, but after not finding legal support for their absence, they have decided to appear for the call. They were initially scheduled for 11:30 a.m. in Madrid, but the players have received their tickets with a most surreal change of plans: the call is moved to Valencia. The RFEF plays the game of distraction and has summoned the staff at 11am to a hotel near Barajas, while the Barça players will fly this afternoon from Barcelona to Valencia.

The situation is unsustainable and the feeling among the footballers is total indignation. An anger that they made clear yesterday in a statement late last night in which they insisted that they have been summoned against their will and that the RFEF has not made the call "in a timely manner" according to FIFA regulations and, Therefore, they understood that “the RFEF is not in a position to require us to go to it.”

Harsher was the statement from Jenni Hermoso, whom Montse Tomé did not summon “to protect her,” she said, after ensuring that she had spoken with her. The Pachuca soccer player has denied the coach through a statement this morning in which she has charged against the Federation: "The same people who ask us for trust are the ones who today launch a list with players who have asked NOT to be called up." “Today they tried to argue that the environment would be safe for my colleagues when at the same press conference it was announced that they were not calling me to protect myself. Protect me from what? Or who?” asks the former FC Barcelona player.

If the players do not appear before the Federation today, they are exposed to harsh sanctions that can reach 30,000 euros and up to five years of disqualification of their license. The players appeal to FIFA regulations, but the Federation points out that this refers to the communication to the clubs, not to the players, who would be governed by the Spanish Sports Law. It is not clear what legality applies in a case as atypical as this, but clubs like FC Barcelona have already made themselves available to their players. The Blaugrana club has offered them the help of its legal services and has shown them total support.