The Spanish football association (RFEF) has requested Luis Rubiales resigns as president after kissing Jenni Hermoso at the World Cup final.
There has been mounting pressure on Rubiales since he kissed the Spain forward on stage after the women’s team won the World Cup final on August 20. Hermoso later said she had not consented to the kiss.
The reaction of the RFEF and Rubiales to the situation has been widely condemned after the 46-year-old refused to resign on Friday. The global footballers’ union FIFPRO called on him to do so last week while Spain’s World Cup-winning squad have said they will refuse call-ups to the national team until the RFEF’s leadership is changed.
On Saturday, football’s governing body FIFA provisionally suspended Rubiales from football-related activities for 90 days.
Explained: Rubiales’ FIFA ban, what comes next and what it means for Hermoso and Spain
The RFEF also requested for itself to be suspended by UEFA. However, European football’s governing body has rejected the request.
Spain’s High Council for Sport (CSD) has asked the Tribunal Administrativo del Deporte (TAD) to meet to “initiate procedures” against Rubiales. The TAD, made up of seven members, four chosen by CSD and three by various sports federations, is holding a meeting today.
On Monday, Rubiales’ mother went on hunger striker in support of her son. Angeles Bejar locked herself in a church Motril, Granada province while Rubiales’ cousin, Vanesa Ruiz, told media outside the church: “His family is suffering a lot for him. What is happening does not seem fair to us. He has been judged before time, which does not seem normal to us.”
Breaking down what Luis Rubiales did after Spain won the Women’s World Cup
Hermoso spoke out on Friday about the incident with Rubiales on the platform when she and her team-mates were receiving their medals for beating England in the World Cup final in Sydney, Australia.
She spoke after an extraordinary RFEF meeting on Friday in which a defiant Rubiales claimed he was the victim of “a social assassination” and that he had “suffered persecution” while head of the RFEF. “I’m not going to resign, I’m not going to resign, I’m NOT going to resign, I’m NOT going to resign, I’m not going to resign,” he said.
Later that day, 81 Spanish players, including Hermoso and the World Cup squad, signed a letter saying they would refuse call-ups to the national team while the leadership remained in place.
In the statement, released by players’ union FUTPRO, they said: “It fills us with sadness that such an unacceptable event is managing to tarnish the greatest sporting success of Spanish women’s football. After everything that happened during the Women’s World Cup medal ceremony, we want to state that all the players who sign this letter will not return to a call-up from the national team if the current leadership continues.”
Spain won the Women’s World Cup – but Luis Rubiales has made me ashamed to be Spanish
Within that letter, Hermoso denied the kiss was consensual. She then released her own statement on Friday evening, reiterating that and further explaining her feelings.
“While it is true that I do not want to interfere with the multiple ongoing legal processes, I feel obliged to report that Mr. Luis Rubiales’ words explaining the unfortunate incident are categorically false and part of the manipulative culture that he himself has generated.
“I want to make it clear that at no time did the conversation to which Mr. Luis Rubiales refers to in his address take place, and, above all, was his kiss ever consensual. I want to reiterate as I did before that I did not like this incident.”
In response to the FUTPRO statement, the RFEF threatened Hermoso with legal action following her comments about Rubiales and her claim that she did not seek to lift him up before he kissed her.
Jenni Hermoso and Luis Rubiales: A timeline of what happened after Spain’s World Cup win
(Photo: Royal Spanish Football Federation / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)