Spain players continue strike after majority of World Cup winning squad called up for Nations League

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Spain’s women’s football team players said on Monday their firm opposition to be called for the national team remains in place after most of the players who last month won the Women’s World Cup were selected for upcoming games.

In a joint statement, the players said they would take the "best decision" for their future and health after they studied the legal implications it could have for them to not attend the call-up.

The revolt by the players followed a kiss on the lips of player Jenni Hermoso by the country’s football federation boss Luis Rubiales after Spain won the World Cup, which eventually triggered his resignation.

Hermoso was not included in Spain’s first squad since lifting the Women’s World Cup but 15 of her title-winning team-mates have been called up despite announcing a boycott last month.

"We stand with Jenni," new head coach Montse Tome told a press conference. "We believe that the best way to protect her is like this, but we are counting on Jenni.

"It’s the start of a new phase, the clock is ticking. There is nothing behind us and we really want to connect with these players."

Amid increasing pressure, Rubiales finally resigned from his post last week but 39 players, including 21 of Spain’s World Cup winners, released a statement on Friday saying that was not enough to trigger their return to national-team duty.

The players said they were not yet "in a safe place" to return and that the problems at the RFEF ran far deeper than Rubiales.

Rubiales has been banned from going within 200m of Hermoso as the national court in Madrid considered a complaint of sexual assault.

However, new Spain coach Tome - who had been due to name her squad on Friday after replacing the sacked Jorge Vilda - has now included 15 of the world champions in her 23-player squad for the upcoming Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland.

Tome had been due to name her squad on Friday but the RFEF said the announcement had been "delayed to a new time to be confirmed".

Barcelona’s Mapi Leon and Patri Guijarro - who were not included in Spain’s World Cup squad after signing a letter protesting against Vilda - have been included.

Additional reporting from PA