31 Aug, 2023 @ 08:52
1 min read

Mother of embattled Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales hospitalised during hunger strike

Mother of Luis Rubiales
Cordon Press

THE MOTHER of embattled Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales was hospitalised last night, during a hunger strike she began earlier this week in protest against what she called a ‘witch hunt’ against her son.

Angeles Bejar was taken to a hospital in her home city of Motril, Granada province, after suffering a panic attack, according to reports in the Spanish press. 

Bejar was staging her ongoing demonstration in a local church, and had vowed not to eat anything until the situation surrounding the Football Federation chairman came to an end. She had already racked up 50 hours of protest without food. 

Rubiales has been under increasing pressure to quit from his job since he planted a forcible kiss on the lips of Spain women’s team player Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony after the World Cup on August 20. He was also seen making an obscene gesture, grabbing his crotch, as the whistle blew on the team’s 1-0 victory against England. 

The priest in the church where Bejar was staging her protest told reporters that the panic attack was ‘due to the heat’. 

Luis Rubiales. Photo: Hugo Ortuño/Pacific Press/Sipa USA

“Her feet were swollen and she was very tired,” he told Spanish online daily El Español. “She was also very nervous.”

Bejar was released from hospital late last night, accompanied by her son, who had gone to visit her at around 11.30pm, according to news agency EFE.

When she was hospitalised she was showing signs of complications related to the chronic kidney disease she suffers. She had only been drinking water during her protest in order to take her medication. 

Rubiales is still refusing to quit from his position, despite having been suspended by international governing body FIFA. Earlier this week, the regional football chiefs in Spain also called on him to immediately step down.

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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.

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