Does the controversy of Luis Rubiales affect the image of Spain? 2:41
(CNN) -- Jennifer Hermoso is not on the list of the 23 players that will make up the selection of Spain to face Sweden and Switzerland during their next matches, although 20 players who signed a letter in which they refuse to participate in the two matches were included.
Last week, most of Spain's world champion team refused to be called up for Women's Nations League matches, as players continue to push for "real structural changes" in Spanish football, following the fallout from former president Luis Rubiales' unwanted kiss to Hermoso. Star of the Red.
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Spain had planned to announce the squad for its next two matches last Friday, but postponed the decision after 39 players, including 21 from the 23-woman World Cup squad, signed a joint letter condemning the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
However, Montse Tomé – who replaced the controversial coach Jorge Vilda after the tournament – included in the call-up, announced on Monday, 20 players who signed the letter.
"I think we are all clear that we are living a special situation and everything that has happened these days, well, it has been exceptional," Tomé said when asked by reporters what had happened between Friday and now to include those 20 players who signed the joint letter.
"The federation has worked to be able to talk to the players. I have also worked with them. We listened to them, we thought we were all part of this group, and the way is to have good communication."
"A new era"
When asked to explain Hermoso's absence, Tomé said he wanted to protect the star, but left open the possibility of him returning to the team in the future.
"First of all, I want to say that we are with Jenni in everything and with all the players," added Tomé, who was reluctant to talk in detail about the conversations he had with the players.
"We believe that the way to help them is to be close to them and listen to them. As a manager, like my team, we came to the conclusion that this is the best way to protect her in this call."
Spain will face Sweden and Switzerland on September 22 and 26, respectively.
Tomé was confident that all those summoned – including two players who did not participate in the World Cup, Mapi León and Patricia Guijarro, and who were involved in a previous litigation with the federation – will be fully committed. He also indicated that the new staff will meet on Tuesday.
"I think, on a professional level, we're surrounded by a group of incredible players," she said.
"They tell me about these two players in particular who were not at the World Cup. But as I said, we are starting a new era."
Jennifer Hermoso during the Women's World Cup. (Credit: Kim Price/CSM/Shutterstock)
After La Roja's victory in the World Cup, Tomé was seen briefly applauding along with other members of the RFEF the speech given by Rubiales when he initially announced that he would not leave his position.
"The truth is, I didn't feel well that day," Tomé said when asked by a reporter why he applauded Rubiales' defiant speech.
"If I think a little bit and ask myself, 'Why did I do it?', well, maybe I wouldn't have done it again. But I feel like in that moment, with the big crowd, I applauded and that's why it happened."
How this point was reached
The discontent of the Spanish players dates back to more than a year ago, when 15 members of the women's team emailed the RFEF personally signed letters announcing that they would not play for the national team again unless there were substantive changes throughout the coaching staff.
Of the 15 players who signed the letters, three were part of the Spanish team in the World Cup: Mariona Caldentey, Aitana Bonmatí and Ona Batlle. That trio was included in Tome's squad announced Monday.
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Despite these extra-sporting problems, the young Spanish team starred in a magical World Cup, defying the odds after winning a memorable title in Australia and New Zealand.
Rubiales' performance during the medal ceremony overshadowed the feat.
However, now that Vilda and Rubiales have left their posts, the RFEF hopes to start a new chapter in women's football.
Early Monday, it issued a statement underscoring its commitment to making changes to the organization.
"It is absolutely necessary, to make these changes, to clarify each of the behaviors and behaviors that may have occurred and act, as such, with professionalism and justice, settling the pertinent responsibilities in each case," he said.
"It is clear that the Federation, society and the players themselves are aligned with this same objective: the renewal and the beginning of a new era in football is the big winner of this whole process."
Rubiales testified Friday in Spain's National Court after being summoned by the court's president to assist in the judicial investigation into possible charges of sexual assault and coercion against him.
According to Spain's Prosecutor's Office, Rubiales responded to questions from the judge and all parties and denied the charges.
Later on Friday, the judge imposed a restraining order on Rubiales, preventing him from coming within 200 meters of Hermoso, and ordered him not to communicate with her during the judicial investigation.
SpainJennifer HermosoLuis Rubiales