23 Aug, 2023 @ 09:04
1 min read

Pressure mounts on Spain’s Football Federation chairman Luis Rubiales to quit after ‘intolerable sexist act’

Luis Rubiales kisses Jenni Hermoso

THE PRESSURE was rising on Tuesday for Spain’s Football Federation chairman, Luis Rubiales, to quit from his position after he forcibly kissed a female player after her team won the Women’s World Cup on Sunday. 

He was also seen making an obscene gesture after Spain’s victory, and the Federation has been accused of faking a statement from the player in question in the wake of the controversy. 

The controversy was sparked when Rubiales grabbed Spain player Jennifer Hermoso by the face with both hands, and forcibly kissed her on the lips, as the medals were being handed out to the victorious team. 

Shortly beforehand, he was caught on camera grabbing his crotch in a defiant gesture when the team beat England 1-0 in the World Cup final. He was standing next to Spain’s Queen Letizia and her daughter, the infanta Sofia, at the time. 

The new leftist alliance Sumar, which is led by caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz, on Tuesday filed a complaint against Rubiales with the Consejo Superior de Deportes, Spain’s government sports council, for what it described as a ‘serious infringement’.

In a social media post on Tuesday, Diaz called for Rubiales to go. Her words followed those of caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, of the Socialist Party, who said that the Federation chief’s behaviour was ‘unacceptable’ and that his subsequent apology had been ‘inadequate’. He stopped short of calling on Rubiales to quit, however. 

Rubiales initially brushed off the criticism for his actions in an interview by calling the controversy ‘bullshit’, tarring his critics as ‘idiots’. However, the pressure forced him into an apology, which he delivered by a video message. 

Since then, sports news website Relevo has published claims that Rubiales called on Hermoso to appear with him in his apology video, stating that she refused to do so. It also claimed that a statement released by the Federation from Hermoso herself were not her words. 

In the statement, Hermoso purportedly said that she and Rubiales ‘had a great relationship’ and that the kiss was a ‘natural gesture of affection and gratitude’. 

These claims from Relevo have not been verified. 

The director of the government’s training centre for football coaches, Miguel Galan, has also lodged an official complaint against Rubiales, claiming that the chairman had broken Spain’s sports law with what he described as an ‘intolerable sexist act’.  

Federation sources told Spanish media outlets that Rubiales, for now, has no intention of resigning.

Read more:

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

King Felipe VI and PP leader Alberto Nuñez Feijoo
Previous Story

Spain’s king proposes Popular Party leader Alberto Nuñez Feijoo as prime ministerial candidate

Next Story

Girl, 8, dies in fire at popular camping resort in Spain

Latest from Lead

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press

Individualised knee and hip prostheses

Once a patient is told they need a knee or

Forest fire in Marbella is stabilised after 100 firefighters work through the night to tackle inferno

A FOREST fire in Marbella has been stabilised following a