Spanish Football Association (RFEF) members are reportedly set to sue the 39 players who have refused to return to the squad amid the ongoing kissing scandal.
The kissing scandal involving former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales and midfielder Jenni Hermoso has dominated Spanish football over the last month.
Reacting to the scandal, the Women’s World Cup winning squad signed a statement that they will not return unless changes are made. Their statement, which two players ultimately opted out of called for changes to be made by the RFEF as the squad did not ‘feel safe’ or ‘respected’ by the La Roja set-up.
It comes despite Luis Rubiales, who was seen kissing Jenni Hermoso announcing his resignation as he battles charges of sexual assault and coercion.
Now, RFEF executives are believed to be filing a complaint in response against the players, accusing them of defamation and coercion.
Mundo Deportivo reports that the RFEF asked for a list to be drawn up of those executives that the team are targeting their complaints against.
The executives and managers implicated are thought to be preparing to argue that the crimes that they are accused of never happened and that the 39 players are putting the RFEF under pressure to remove certain staff members.
It is thought that a letter was sent to the interim president of the RFEF Pedro Rocha informing of the threatened counterclaim. It is in this letter that the warning of legal action is believed to have come.
New manager Montse Tome had been set to announce her squad for the upcoming inaugural Women’s UEFA Nations League, but this has been postponed until further notice.
The statement, signed by 39 players, was given on Friday after reports had warned that the World Cup winners would refuse the call-up for their side until changes were made.
‘The changes made are not enough for the players to feel safe, where women are respected, where there is support for women’s football and where we can maximise our potential,’ that statement read.
‘The players of the Spanish team have, at all times, been open to dialogue, seeking to convey clear and well-argued reasons that we believe are necessary to be able to carry out our work at the highest level with the respect we deserve.
The specified changes to the RFEF are based on zero tolerance for those people who, from a position within the RFEF, have had, incited, hidden, or applauded attitudes that go against the dignity of women.
‘We firmly believe that strong changes are required in leadership positions in the RFEF and specifically, in the area of women’s football.
‘We want to end this statement by expressing that the players of the Spanish team are professionals, and what fills us most with pride is wearing the shirt of our national team and leading our country to the highest positions.’
‘We believe that it is time to fight to show that these situations and practices have no place in football or society, that the current structure needs changes and we do it so that the next generations can have equality in football and at the level that we all deserve.’