The kiss of the head of the Spanish association triggers a debate about power and sexism. The players want to go on strike, the association threatens to sue – and Luis Rubiales is still in office.
The national players led by Jennifer Hermoso are on strike, the football association RFEF, headed by controversial President Luis Rubiales, is threatening lawsuits – the kissing debate after Spain’s World Cup victory is becoming more and more acute.
Hermoso responded to Rubiales’ refusal to resign with a detailed statement that could not have been clearer: “I felt vulnerable and the victim of an impulsive, sexist and inappropriate act that I did not consent to. Simply put, I was disrespected “wrote the 33-year-old in a statement shared on the social networks Instagram and X, formerly Twitter.
Solidarity from team colleagues
Shortly before, all the players in the Spanish team had announced that they would not play again as long as Rubiales was still in office. “It makes us very sad that such unacceptable behavior overshadows the greatest sporting success of Spanish women’s football,” read the statement published on X by the players’ union Futpro, signed by 81 soccer players. “After everything that happened at the Women’s World Cup, we want to make it clear that all the players who have signed will not play for the national team if the current leadership team remains in place.”
After the 1-0 victory in the World Cup final against England last Sunday in Sydney, Rubiales held Hermoso’s head with both hands and kissed him on the mouth. A little later, Hermoso said in a video that she didn’t think it was great. As a result, a large number of politicians, other football officials and players massively criticized Rubiales and called for his resignation.
Morgan: “Abuse is abuse”
US star Alex Morgan wrote that she was disgusted. The English women, who lost in the final, also showed their solidarity with Hermoso. “Abuse is abuse and we’ve all seen the truth,” they wrote. “The behavior of those who believe they are invincible should not be tolerated and people should not have to be persuaded to take action against any form of harassment.”
The Spanish government also opposed the 46-year-old Rubiales. Spain’s acting Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera told the Europa Press news agency that she will do everything “in her power” to ensure that Rubiales loses his post.
Association behind Rubiales
The federation, on the other hand, published a statement on its website late on Friday evening defending Rubiales and threatening lawsuits against Hermoso and Futpro. The key point is Hermoso’s statement that she did not agree to the kiss and did not lift Rubiales, as claimed by him.
The RFEF put four photos online to exonerate the association boss and also described in detail the posture of Rubiales and Hermoso. The pictures are proof that Rubiales did not lie. They show Rubiales being held by Hermoso, two of which have his legs in the air. Whether the striker lifted him up or whether he jumped up of his own accord cannot be proven from the short series of pictures.
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