Spain’s Women’s World Cup-winning team BOYCOTT Nations League in wake of Luis Rubiales scandal

SPAIN confirmed they are boycotting their upcoming Nations League matches.

The Women’s World Cup champions were due to play their first matches since lifting the trophy on August 20.

GettySpain’s Women’s World Cup winners have boycotted their Nations League fixtures[/caption]

Luis Rubiales eventually resigned as Spanish FA president following the controversial kiss

La Roja were scheduled to face Sweden away on September 22 and Switzerland at home four days later.

However, in the wake of the backlash of the scandal surrounding former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales who kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips and ex-head coach Jorge Vilda, they confirmed they are still refusing to play.

Montserrat Tome – who played for Barcelona and Spain – was one of Vilda’s assistant managers and has now taken over as the first female head coach of the Spanish women’s national team.

But just hours before she was due to name her first squad, the team put out their statement following a three-hour meeting in which the stars decided they were not prepared to step back on to the pitch representing their country.

Their statement outlines a desire for a complete restructuring of the Spanish FA.

This includes a new general secretary, cabinet, media department and president.

Their statement also criticised the “extraordinary” Spanish Football Federation assembly that saw Rubiales receive an ovation when he initially refused to resign.

It then concluded: “We want to end this statement by expressing that the players of the Spanish team are professional players, and what fills us most with pride is wearing the shirt of our team and always leading our country to the highest positions.

“For this reason, we believe that it is time to fight to show that these situations and practices have no place in our football or in our society, that the current structure needs changes and we do it so that the next generations can have a much more equal football and the height of what we all deserve.”

Tome’s presentation as boss will now be suspended due to the players’ refusal to report for international duty.

Of the initial 80 who went on strike, 39 remain unavailable – 21 of the 23 World Cup winners plus 18 more – for selection but 41 changed their stance.

Spain’s striking players believe the departures of Rubiales and Vilda are not enough to have fixed the situation, and that more needs to be done.

Of their victorious World Cup-winning squad, only Athenea del Castillo and Claudia Zornoza have not co-signed the statement.

Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas said earlier this week: “We are asking for changes so no woman, inside or outside of soccer, should ever have to experience again situations of disparagement, disrespect, or abuse.

“We need consensus, courage and leadership from the institutions, please. This is why we will not stop here.”

Diario AS report those who refuse to accept a call-up could face shocking fines up to £25,000 and even have their playing licence suspended under Spanish national sports laws.

KISSGATE SCANDAL

The boycott comes despite Rubiales’ eventual resignation in his interview with Piers Morgan this week and Vilda’s sacking.

The disgraced pair were both accused of misogyny even before Rubiales kissed Spanish midfielder Hermoso following the final win over England in Sydney.

Vilda, who angered the women’s team throughout his eight years in charge, was largely excluded from the celebrations and was removed from his post as pressure mounted on the Spanish FA.

Shameless Rubiales tried to fight on – boldly declaring “I’m not quitting” – before he relented and announced his resignation having already been suspended by Fifa.

He is in a Madrid court today amid the criminal complaint launched by Hermoso for the non-consensual kiss – and a judge will decide if the case goes to a trial.

Rubiales – who has refused to apologise to the World Cup star – denies Hermoso’s claim there was no consent and says there was “no sexual content, no aggression” and that it was a “very common kiss between friends”.

Now the initial court hearing stated Rubiales is not allowed within 200m of Hermoso and is banned from communicating with her by any means.

GettyJennifer Hermoso has pressed legal charges against Rubiales[/caption]

AlamyThe team were due to play their first game as world champions next Friday[/caption]

GettyJorge Vilda and Rubiales both left their posts after the win[/caption]

APRubiales is in court today and the case could go to trial[/caption]

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