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New Spain coach seeks to draw World Cup winners out of boycott

LAS ROZAS, Spain: Spain's new women's football team coach Montse Tome on Monday (Sep 18) selected most of the players who last month won the Women's World Cup for fixtures against Sweden and Switzerland in an apparent bid to force them to end their boycott.

The revolt by the players followed a kiss on the lips of player Jenni Hermoso by the country's football federation (RFEF) boss Luis Rubiales after Spain won the World Cup.

She disputed his insistence the kiss was consensual, sparking a national debate about macho culture in the sport.

Hermoso was not on the list announced on Monday, which included 15 of the 23 cup-winning squad plus two players - Mapi Leon and Patri Guijarro - who were not called up for the finals after signing an open letter against then-coach Jorge Vilda.

The players have not said if they will end their boycott, sources told Reuters, after several only found out they were in the squad via media reports. A source close to three players said they had been surprised by the call-up.

Another source close to four other players told Reuters they were seeking legal advice to decide whether to report to the squad on Tuesday, afraid of the threat of punishment.

Should they refuse the call-up, the players could face sanctions including fines of up 30,000 euros ($32,000) and the suspension of their federation licence for two to 15 years according to Spain's Sports Act.

Tome, who was Vilda's assistant for five years, told a press conference none of the players had asked not to be selected, adding that she had spoken to them but declining to reveal what was discussed.

When asked if she was confident all those on the list would answer the call to play, she said: "I have every confidence in the players ... I trust that the

Read more on channelnewsasia.com