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Jenni Hermoso and several others refuse to play after she was forcibly kissed by chief of Spanish football Luis Rubiales: Details

The players began the mass strike after the Spanish soccer boss, Luis Rubiales refused to resign from his post despite the uproar he caused with the kiss.

On Saturday, August 26, the Spanish football federation said it would take legal action against Spanish woman football forward player Jenni Hermoso’s comments about its president Luis Rubiales kissing her, claiming she is lying about it being non-consensual.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said, “The RFEF and Mr President will demonstrate each of the lies that are spread either by someone on behalf of the player or, if applicable, by the player herself.

“The RFEF and the President, given the seriousness of the content of the press release from the Futpro union, will initiate the corresponding legal actions.”

The federation also said that, if selected, players have “an obligation” to play for the national team, after 81 female players said they would not represent Spain until Rubiales is removed from his post.

On Friday, August 25, the Spanish woman football forward player Jenni Hermoso joined 80 other women players to protest against the Spain women’s football federation chief Luis Rubiales, who came under harsh criticism after he kissed footballer Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in the World Cup final in Sydney on Sunday (August 20) night.

The players began the mass strike after the Spanish soccer boss, Luis Rubiales refused to resign from his post despite the uproar he caused with the kiss, which he termed “mutual, euphoric and consensual.” He added that Hermoso had said “OK” when he asked her if he could give her “a peck”. He also asserted that “she was the one who lifted me in her arms and brought me close to her body”.

In an emergency meeting called by the federation on Friday, Luis Rubiales insists he won’t step down. “I won’t resign,” Luis Rubiales declared four times in quick succession at the meeting and claimed he was a victim of a witch hunt by “false feminists.”

Jenni Hermoso denies Rubiales’ claim of kiss being ‘consensual’

Spanish midfielder Jenni Hermoso, on the other hand, has vehemently refuted the claims made by the federation chief that the kiss was consensual. She said she felt “vulnerable and the victim of an assault”.

“I want to clarify that at no time did I consent to the kiss that he gave me and in no case did I seek to lift up the president,” Hermoso said in the Futpro statement.

“I do not tolerate my word being questioned and much less that they invent words that I did not say,” she added.

She maintained that she will not play until strict action is taken against the federation chief, adding that she is pursuing action against the Spanish FA president.

The controversy

On August 20, Sunday, the Spanish women’s football federation chief Rubiales came under fire for allegedly grabbing his crotch in celebration of Spain’s victory over England while standing metres away from Spain’s Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter Sofia. Rubiales then kissed Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso during the trophy celebration.

Spain outrages over the inappropriate kiss

The inappropriate kiss delivered on stage during the official post-match ceremony which was captured on camera prompted a huge outrage on social media. The reaction to the kiss continued to dominate Spanish headlines until today.

On August 21, Monday, the interim government’s minister of equality, Irene Montero, said on social media that it was “a form of sexual violence that we women suffer on a daily basis and has been invisible until now.”

“We can’t make this normal,” she added.

England’s Lionesses, who were defeated by Spain in the World Cup final, backed the players’ boycott, saying: “Unacceptable actions allowed to happen by a sexist and patriarchal organisation. Abuse is abuse and we have all seen the truth.

“The behaviour of those who think they are invincible must not be tolerated and people shouldn’t need convincing to take action against any form of harassment.

“We all stand with you, @jennihermoso and all players of the Spainish team.”

Following the uproar, the world players’ union FIFPRO called for FIFA to intervene and investigate Rubiales, echoing a statement from the Spanish players’ union on 22nd August that condemned such behaviour as ‘never appropriate or acceptable’.

In its statement issued on 23rd August, FIFPRO said: “FifPro fully endorses the statement of Spanish player union AFE in calling for immediate action to address the conduct of Spanish federation president Luis Rubiales at the Fifa Women’s World Cup final and is requesting an investigation of his actions under Fifa’s code of ethics.”

“We reiterate that it was deeply lamentable that such a special moment for the players of the Spain national team taking place before a global television audience should be stained by the inappropriate conduct of an individual in a role carrying so much responsibility.”

“Uninitiated and uninvited physical approaches towards players are not appropriate or acceptable in any context, and especially when they are put in a position of vulnerability by a person who holds a position of power over them in their workplace.”

The head of Spain’s Sports Council, also sought Rubiales’ removal, saying, “We want this to be a ‘Me Too’ of Spanish soccer”.

That same day, FIFA, football’s global governing body and organiser of the Women’s World Cup, opened a disciplinary case against him. FIFPRO took to X to inform about the same.

Its disciplinary committee was entrusted with determining if Rubiales violated its code of conduct regarding “the basic rules of decent conduct” and “behaving in a way that brings the sport of football and/or FIFA into disrepute.”

Notably, the governing body’s disciplinary judges can impose sanctions on individuals ranging from warnings, penalties, and even suspensions from the sport. FIFA gave no timetable for the ruling.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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