Spanish Football in Turmoil as Kiss Scandal, Forces RFEF Chief to Resign
Spanish football chief Rubiales to quit over WC scandal
Luis Rubiales, the President of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), has come under criticism for kissing Jenni Hermoso on the mouth during the celebrations of their victory at the Women’s World Cup held on August 19th, several media outlets reported on Saturday.
In an Instagram live video after the match, Hermoso said “I didn’t like it” when asked about the kiss, however, she was laughing at the time. She later dismissed the incident as a “natural gesture of affection”, saying: “It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings.
“The president and I have a great relationship, his behaviour with all of us has been outstanding and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude…It cannot be gone over so much, We have won a World Cup and we are not going to deviate from what is important.”
When media outlets asked Luis Rubiales about the controversial issue, she replied “Certainly I made a mistake and I have to acknowledge that. It was done without any ill intention in a moment of the highest exuberance. Here we saw it as natural and normal but outside it has caused a commotion.”
Moreover, after a day, Spain international Jenni Hermoso said on Friday she felt “vulnerable and victim of aggression” when she was kissed by Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales on Sunday after the World Cup final.
“I felt vulnerable and victim of an aggression, an impulsive and sexist act, moved and without any consent on my part,” said the Spanish number 10 in a statement posted on her social networks.
The forced kiss scandal continues to shake the world of Spanish football: after the refusal on Friday to resign from Luis Rubiales, boss of the federation, the players of the selection took up the cause of Jenni Hermoso and announced that they would no longer play with La Roja if the current management was maintained.
What is already dubbed the #MeToo of Spanish football, after the forced kiss of Luis Rubiales at the end 10, Jenni Hermoso, Sunday night at the medal ceremony in Sydney, had a final twist on Friday night with the announcement of a strike by the women’s national team.
In reply to her tweet a ‘taunt’ that you have to complain at that moment!
But you have to complaint at that moment … pic.twitter.com/5Hns5073Hv
— Jo Kar (@i_am_gustakh) August 25, 2023
Another citizen @Vito Quiles stated that “He encontrado la imagen de Jenni Hermoso cogiendo a Rubiales tal y como él ha relatado. Rubiales dice la verdad y es víctima de una cacería nauseabunda de la izquierda”.
He encontrado la imagen de Jenni Hermoso cogiendo a Rubiales tal y como él ha relatado. Rubiales dice la verdad y es víctima de una cacería nauseabunda de la izquierda. pic.twitter.com/do8nvxQsL9
— Vito Quiles 🇪🇸 (@vitoquiles) August 25, 2023
The 23 players of the Spanish national team, crowned world champions on Sunday in Australia, announced in a statement from the Futpro union that they refused to play again with La Roja “if the current leaders [étaient] maintained”. The text, already signed by 81 players, remains open to other signatures, said the union.
In the same press release, Jenni Hermoso indicated that she had “at no time consented to this kiss”: “I do not tolerate anyone questioning my word and even less inventing comments that I did not say”.
Enough to completely dismantle the defense of Luis Rubiales, who refused to resign from his post a few hours earlier before the extraordinary general meeting of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) meeting near Madrid.
In office since 2018, the former defender launched a counter-attack, saying the kiss was, according to him, “reciprocal” and “consensual” and that he had obtained permission to do so, while castigating “false feminism”.
He eventually apologised but Hermoso rejected the chance to appear in his apology video despite him begging “My position is at stake, do it for my daughters”.
Spanish outlet El Confidencial has reported that Rubiales is also facing accusations that he took a Mexican woman on a six-day work-funded holiday to New York.