5 Sep, 2023 @ 10:15
1 min read

Two weeks later, Spain’s men’s football team finally condemns Federation chief Luis Rubiales

Embattled 'kisser' Luis Rubiales could face sex assault charges as top prosecutors in Spain open probe
Cordon Press image

THE SPAIN men’s national football team has finally released a statement condemning the actions of embattled Federation chairman Luis Rubiales, more than two weeks after he controversially forcibly kissed female player Jenni Hermoso after the women’s team’s 1-0 victory over England at the World Cup.. 

“Between all of the players we have agreed to write the following statement,” said captain Alvaro Morata on Monday night at a press conference at their training ground in Las Rozas, Madrid. 

The player went on to express the team’s rejection of Rubiales’ ‘unacceptable behaviour’, saying that his antics – which included grabbing his crotch when Spain beat England, stood just metres from Spain’s Queen Letizia – had ‘damaged the image of Spanish football’ and had ‘tarnished’ what he described as a ‘historic achievement’ for the national women’s team. 

Embattled 'kisser' Luis Rubiales could face sex assault charges as top prosecutors in Spain open probe
Luis Rubiales after the Women’s World Cup Final. Cordon Press image

“We want to condemn [Rubiales] and express our solidarity with the players […],” he continued. “We want to reject what we consider to be unacceptable behaviour on the part of Mr Rubiales, who has not met the expectations of the institution that he represents.”

Morata was flanked by his vice-captains Marco Asension, Rodri and Cesar Azpilicueta. The rest of the squad was present. 

Rubiales, 46, has been suspended by FIFA from his role as the chairman of Spain’s Football Federation and as vice president of European football authority UEFA, but is still refusing to step down. 

He has claimed that the kiss with Hermoso was consensual, something that has been denied by the player herself. 

At the weekend, Spain’s caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez openly criticised the embattled chairman for the second time, saying ‘one cannot aspire to represent Spain with attitudes and statements that embarrass us’. 

Regional football chiefs in Spain have also called on Rubiales to step aside, but fell short of a motion of no confidence against him.

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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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