Spain's world champions and their Swedish opponents on Friday held up a banner with the slogan "It's over" in protest over the sexism scandal which has engulfed the Spanish football federation.

The protest came as the Spain team returned to action for the first time since lifting the World Cup where former federation chief Luis Rubiales kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips.

The 22 players held up the banner bearing the Spanish phrase "Se Acabo" ("It's over") adding that the struggle of the players against chauvinism and sexual assault was "the global fight" for equality between men and women.

Just before kick-off in Friday's Nations League game, the Spanish women also raised their fists to reveal wristbands which also carried messages of protest and support.

Most carried the same "Se Acabo" message, while others simply wrote "Jenni" or the number 10 of Hermoso's shirt.

Hermoso was not called up for the game by new coach Montse Tome to "protect her".

Nine of the 23 world champions who refused to return to the team since the Rubiales scandal broke, demanding profound changes within the Spanish Football Federation, finally started at kick-off on Friday.