Spain to play next games without World Cup-winners as squad continue strike

Spain will face Sweden and Switzerland in their Nations League fixtures without the vast majority of their World Cup-winning squad from just a month ago, as they are set to continue their strike.

Following the Luis Rubiales kiss scandal, the RFEF President stepped down, while Manager Jorge Vilda was replaced with his Assistant Montse Tome. 39 players of the original 80 that signed Jenni Hermoso’s statement declaring Rubiales had sexually assaulted her, and that they would not be returning to Spain duty until there were profound changes in the Federation, have maintained their stance.

Diario AS, amongst others, say that they have not responded to an ultimatum given to them by the Federation. The RFEF asked them to name the employees that they wanted forced out of the organisation by midnight on Sunday, and they promised to remove them within a month.

However they have not responded to that ultimatum, and Tome will announce her first Spain squad without 21 of the 23 players that won the World Cup, with Athenea del Castillo and Sheila Garcia the only players to remain available. The announcement is due at either 12:00 or 16:00 CEST.

It means that the story will drag on for some time yet. In terms of optics, it will play poorly on the international scene that the RFEF are unable to make the necessary changes to bring the World Cup-winners back to Spain selection. Part of the problem may be that the striking players see many of Rubiales’ allies still in important roles, and even if the RFEF are willing to move on some of them, interim President Pedro Rocha was handpicked by Rubiales to take over from him.

Tags 2023 World Cup Luis Rubiales RFEF Spain La Roja World Cup
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