The football world has been left in shock after star Jenni Hermoso was left out of the Spain squad following the World Cup kiss scandal with Spanish football president Luis Rubiales. The former president caused uproar after he kissed Hermoso on the mouth while celebrating Spain's World Cup triumph in Sydney.
The saga took another twist when Jorge Vilda was sacked as Spain's women's football coach, weeks after guiding his side to World Cup glory. Vilda was at the centre of a protest ahead of the World Cup, before many players ignored him in the post-match celebrations after the final.
'ABSOLUTE JOKE': Socceroos fans fume over 'diabolical' farce
FIFA initially suspended Rubiales for 90 days, before he resigned from his role as Spanish president. In the meantime, Spain appointed new coach Montse Tome, despite up to 39 players announcing a strike from the national team until issues were resolved.
And there has already been backlash after Tome announced Hermoso would not be in the Spain squad to play Switzerland 'to protect her'. The new coach said she spoke with Hemmoso before the decision.
“We are with Jenni on everything, and with all the players,” the new coach said at a press conference. “The best way to protect her is like this, I have worked five years with her.”
Tome included a number of players that announced they were on strike, but said she had spoken to those individuals before selecting them in the squad.
“I trust in that the players are professionals, they have just become champions of the world, they love the national team, and I know they will be here with us tomorrow,” Tome told a news conference.
“Today we start a new era in the national team, that’s something good, beautiful, all players have the chance to be here and all have the same opportunities.”
Jenni Hermoso absence sparks anger
Not everyone was happy with the outcome of the squad selection. Sweden ace Ana Crnogorcevic blasted the decision to call up players who were clearly unhappy with the drama unfolding in the Spanish national squad.
“This is insane... how can you threaten your own players like this... call them to the national team, when they said they want clear changes before they come back!” Crnogorcevic wrote on platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
“This is soooo disrespectful... clearly they don’t care... and they don't allow them to make their own decision.” Many other football fans reacted with shock to the news with the Spanish players on strike still not confirming whether they will play or not.
This is insane… how can you threaten your own player like this…😳
call them to the national team, when they said they want clear changes before they come back!
this is soooo disrespectful…
clearly they don’t care… and they dont allow them to make their own decision 😔
— Ana Crnogorcevic (@AnaCrnogorcevic) September 18, 2023
Mic drop 👑 they are a disgrace & the sheer level of disrespect for every player is mind blowing for a supposed professional organisation. They absolutely 100% would not do this to the Men’s national team. It’s incomprehensible that this continues with these 🤡
— Kimberley Smith (@smith11519) September 18, 2023
What is happening!?😳
— cindylamsy903 (@cidylamsy903) September 18, 2023
After World Cup-winning coach Vilda was sacked, the Spanish Federation announced he would be replaced by assistant Tome - who is the first woman to take charge of the women's national team. Tome had been Vilda's assistant coach since 2018 and helped him steer Spain to glory at the Women's World Cup. The Spanish federation (RFEF) said Tome has "established herself as a key player in the national team's growth".
A statement released by the federation gave no reason for Vilda's dismissal and did not mention Hermoso, Rubiales or the scandal. The RFEF thanked the 42-year-old for his "extraordinary sporting legacy". The statement said: "The coach has been key to the remarkable growth of women's football and leaves Spain as world champions and second in the FIFA rankings."
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