'Protect me from what?' — Hermoso hits out at Spanish FA and coach after national team snub

Jennifer Hermoso reacts to beng dropped | Imago, X/@JenniHermoso

'Protect me from what?' — Hermoso hits out at Spanish FA and coach after national team snub

Ayoola Kelechi 18:30 - 19.09.2023

Jennifer Hermoso has hit out at the Spanish FA and national team coach after she was left out of the latest Spain squad to play against Sweden And Switzerland

Spain’s Jenni Hermoso has slammed the Spanish FA and new head coach Montserrat Tome, claiming that nothing has changed within the national team despite the changes at the top after she was left out of the latest national team squad. 

Hermoso and the Kiss Gate scandal

Hermoso was part of La Roja squad that made history in Australia and New Zealand after winning Spain’s maiden Women’s World Cup trophy. Still, the aftermath of the World Cup has been soiled both for her and Spanish football by a scandal that has rocked the FA to its core. 

Former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales was forced to resign and is currently facing legal proceedings that could result in him losing his home after he was seen on television kissing Hermoso on the lips after the World Cup final. 

Rubiales kisses Jennifer Hermoso after World Cup win | X/@SHEScoresbanger
Rubiales kisses Jennifer Hermoso after World Cup win | X/@SHEScoresbanger

Although Rubiales continues to claim no wrongdoing, Hermoso has insisted that the kiss was not consensual and now believes she has been targeted following her omission from the national team in the latest squad to play the UEFA Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland. 

‘Hermoso snubbed from national team to protect her’ — Tome

According to new national team manager Montserrat Tome, who took over from the sacked Jorge Vilda, Hermoso’s absence is due to the fact that the FA wants to protect her from scrutiny, and she also claimed that she had come to the conclusion after consulting the Pachuca midfielder.

However, Hermoso has questioned that logic, especially as regards other current events in the country’s FA, asking what she needs to be protected from. 

With members of the team who are on strike over the lack of respect and support from the FA being threatened with legal action if they refuse national team call-ups, Hermoso, who was excluded from the team has bashed the RFEF for being the same as it was under deposed leader Rubiales. 

Tome, speaking at the unveiling of the team, said, "We believed that the best way to protect her [Jenni Hermoso] was not to call her up. I have been working with her for 5 years, I have agreed with her as a companion.

"We are with Jenni in everything and with all the players. We believe that the way to help them is to be close to them and listen to them. 

“I, who am the person most responsible, as well as my staff, have believed that the best way to protect it in this call is like this.”

Hermoso reacts to national team coach’s claims

Reacting to Tome’s comments, Hermoso put out a statement on social media, asking why she needed to be protected if the national team was a safe space for players, as is being preached by Tome and members of the FA. 

Hermoso’s statement read, “Protect me from what? Let's be clear; a claim was made today stating that the environment within the federation would be safe for my colleagues to rejoin, yet at the same press conference it was announced that they were not calling me as a means to protect me.

“Protect me from what? And from whom? We have been searching for weeks - months, even - for protection from the RFEF that never came.

“The people who now ask us to trust them are the same ones who today disclosed the list of players who have asked not to be called up. 

The former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid midfielder also noted that her exclusion was further proof that nothing had changed within the RFEF, and stated that she was prepared to continue fighting for what is right with her other teammates. 

She added, “The players are certain that this is yet another strategy of division and manipulation to intimidate and threaten us with legal repercussions and economic sanctions. It is yet more irrefutable proof that shows that even today, nothing has changed.”

Jennifer Hermoso's statement X JenniHermoso
Jennifer Hermoso's statement | X/@JenniHermoso

'I want to once again show my full support to my colleagues who have been caught by surprise and forced to react to another unfortunate situation caused by the people who continue to make decisions within the RFEF.

'This is why we are fighting and why we are doing it in this way,” she concluded. 

Spain play against Sweden and Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League in three days, but there is still uncertainty as to whether both fixtures will hold as players continue to say they will not represent the Spanish women’s national team if they do not see real change within the FA. 

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