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The fight of Spain’s female footballers: summons to the game

Players from the Spanish World Cup team are nominated for selection against their will. The strikers face high penalties.

Spain's new national coach Montse Tomé with a mischievous grin in front of the coat of arms of the Spanish Football Association

New face, new lies: Montse Tomé before her first appearance as Spanish national coach Photo: dpa

BARCELONA taz | The Hotel Alameda at Madrid-Barajas Airport had something of a military barracks on Tuesday morning. With serious faces and mostly without saying a word, a few national players gradually arrived. Misa Rodríguez was asked whether she was pleased to have been appointed. Then the Real Madrid goalkeeper turned around and said: “No.”

The appeal was a convocation. Fortunately, Spain’s best female soccer players don’t have to go to war; they are only supposed to compete in the top Nations League game against world number one Sweden in Gothenburg on Friday.

But 39 of them – including 21 of the 23 world champions – had said that they didn’t want that either. clearly stated on Friday. They had called for “zero tolerance” towards “people who have shown, encouraged, concealed or applauded behavior from an association office that violates the dignity of women.”

Their own astonishment was all the greater when 15 world champions and even five players, who had forgone the World Cup as part of the crisis between the team and the association that had been going on for a year, were nominated by the new national coach Montse Tomé on Monday afternoon. Because there were no reforms over the weekend

Blatant lies

And present at Tomé’s enthronement were a number of people who had managed the women’s department for the outgoing scandalous president Luis Rubiales in recent years. When asked several times, she also assured that she had spoken to the professionals and agreed on the nomination.

That was obviously a lie. According to Spanish sports law, anyone who ignores the appeal of a national team can be banned from playing for up to five years – even at club level. Most players denounced the maneuver on Monday evening. They declared in a communiqué that “nothing has changed in our firm determination not to be appointed.”

In her own statement, striker Jenni Hermoso, a victim of Rubiales’ kiss attack after the World Cup final and now not called by Tomé “for their protection”, late at night: “It is another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate us.”

The next grotesque

The rebelliousness of sinister methods under Rubiales’ chosen successor, Pedro Rocha, is now surprising even those in the know. As with Rubiales’ initial insistence in office, association sources had said until shortly before the Tomé show – at which the trainer was visibly uncomfortable – that no strikers would be appointed. The next grotesque came out.

In the whole drama, the weakest figure after the association once again gave up the government. For years she supported Rubiales – son of a former mayor and socialist party friend – against all suspicions and sometimes even complaints of corruption and sexual harassment. Then she failed to get him to resign

He did this because of pressure from FIFA – or to push for substantial association reforms. Now Secretary of State for Sports Victor Francos and government spokeswoman Isabel Rodríguez assured the players of their “support”, but did not give them any support on the crucial issue of the strike.

A lot of embarrassment until the next step

“The next games are very important for qualifying for the Olympics, so the government wants to see them play and win,” Rodríguez explained. Medals beat values, That’s the extent of feminism, which is often often emphasized.

Meanwhile, the players from Madrid should meet with those from other clubs in Valencia in the afternoon to start preparing for the match there – and not in the contaminated Las Rozas. It was initially unclear whether the team would appear in full, and whether the government would “have to apply the law” (Francos) against any defectors.

According to reports, the State Secretary wanted to get in touch with the players himself for the first time and mediate. A number of embarrassments had to be made before he recognized this step as necessary.

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