Montse Tome
Spain coach Montse Tome selected several players who are still on strike from the national team AFP / Thomas COEX

Spain's Women's National Football Team coach Montse Tome is reportedly on the verge of being sacked just two weeks after taking over the role from controversial former coach Jorge Vilda.

Tome's tenure started on the wrong foot

It may be remembered that Vilda was sacked earlier this month after it became clear that former Royal Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales would no longer be able to hold on to his position. Rubiales was forced to finally resign three weeks after he was involved in a sexual assault controversy after he kissed Spain forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent after the Women's World Cup final.

Vilda had enjoyed the support of Rubiales even after players called for his resignation last year. The latter expressed his desire to offer Vilda a fresh contract after the World Cup win, but all that went up in smoke after the scandal exploded.

Rubiales ended up resigning after initially vowing to fight for his position. Vilda was then sacked and replaced by his assistant, Tome, who is the first woman to hold the position as head coach of Spain's women's team.

This looked like a move in the right direction, but the players made it clear that they are not happy with the decision and that the changes were not enough. It is understood that Tome is known to be close to Rubiales, and the players are not comfortable with her appointment.

Last Friday, the players issued a statement saying that they remain on strike until further changes are made to the system. Despite this, Tome called up 20 players who were on strike.

Tome accused of lying

The squad list for the upcoming Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland was announced earlier this week, and many of the players have been vocal about being "forced" to show up. If they insisted on boycotting the call-up, the players could risk destroying their careers thanks to long-term bans both from international and club football.

As a result, the players reluctantly showed up to the training camp in Valencia and are expected to suit up on Friday to face Sweden in Gothernburg. Incidentally, Hermoso was not part of the squad, with Tome insisting that this decisionn was made for the player's protection. However, the move appeared to be more of a punishment.

When Tome faced the press, she said that she had spoken to the players before announcing her squad list, and that they had not rejected the call-up. However, she has since been accused of lying in the wake of a number of players confirming that they have been forced to come.

Tome has defended herself by saying that she did not lie, but her words were misinterpreted. Speaking to the press, she said: "No (I did not lie). It was a failure of interpretation. They asked me if I had spoken to players, I said yes because I have spoken to some of them. Not with all of them, but with some of them. I'm not going to say with whom.

"I'm not going to say what I said. It's part of the personal and professional secret that I don't like to breach."

More changes expected in the coming days

The situation will clearly become untenable if Tome stays on as head coach, which is why she is expected to be sacked after the conclusion of the Nations League matches on Friday against Sweden and Tuesday against Switzerland.

According to Diario AS, the RFEF is eyeing Barcelona Femeni manager Jonatan Giraldez, who already has the bulk of the national team players under his wing. Alternatively, they are also interested in Alberto Toril, who is currently in charge of Real Madrid Femenino.

It remains to be seen if either manager would be tempted to take on the controversial role at this time. In any case, the RFEF is scrambling to find a compromise with their players, especially in the wake of their World Cup victory.