Hermoso said on Friday that at no time did he agree to a kiss from the country’s top soccer leader – at the medal ceremony last Sunday after Spain won the women’s World Cup – and wrote on social media: “I felt vulnerable and victim of an impulse”. impulsive, sexist and inappropriate act without any consent on my part”.
In a statement on Friday, responding to Hermoso and the Association of Professional Soccer Players of Spain (FUTPRO), the federation defended Rubiales, who described the kiss as “mutual” and spoke of “unfair” campaigns and “false feminism.”
“The evidence is conclusive. The president has not lied,” said the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), along with descriptions of photographs that tried to support Rubiales’ claim.
“The RFEF and the President will demonstrate each of the lies that are spread either by someone on behalf of the player or, where appropriate, by the player herself.
“The RFEF and the President, given the seriousness of the content of the statement from the Futpro Union, will initiate the corresponding legal actions,” the statement said.
The federation went on to say that players had “an obligation” to participate in matches “if they are called up” after the 23-member Spanish World Cup-winning team, including Hermoso, and nearly 50 other professional soccer players, said they would not play for the country again until Rubiales is removed from office.
On Saturday, soccer’s world governing body FIFA provisionally suspended Rubiales from “all soccer-related activities” after he said Thursday he had opened disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales for violating the “basic rules.” of decent conduct” of the game.
Following Spain’s victory over England in the Women’s World Cup final, Rubiales was filmed kissing Hermoso on the lips after she had collected her winner’s medal, an act the 33-year-old said earlier that day “she didn’t I liked it” and “I didn’t expect it”.
Rubiales, who said on Monday that he had “made a mistake”, has come under harsh criticism throughout the week from the soccer world and some Spanish politicians, including Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who said that the apology for what he called “an error “An unacceptable gesture” was not “sufficient”.
But on Friday the scandal escalated further when Rubiales delivered a defiant speech at the federation’s Extraordinary General Assembly, where he emphatically said he would not resign.
In response to Rubiales’ speech, Hermoso said the RFEF president’s explanation of the incident was “categorically” false, adding: “I want to reiterate as I did before that I didn’t like this incident.”
He also described refusing requests to issue a statement to “relieve pressure” on Rubiales, saying he had been “under continuous pressure to make a statement that could justify Mr. Luis Rubiales’ actions.”
“Not only that, but in different ways and through different people, the REF has pressured my environment (family, friends, colleagues, etc.) to give a testimony that had little or nothing to do with my feelings”, added.
In a statement posted on the players’ union site FUTPRO and shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, the national team players said those who signed the statement will not “stand up for the national team team as long as the actual leadership remains.” in the power”. place.”
“No woman should have to answer questions based on the compelling images the world has seen and, of course, no one should be involved in non-consensual behavior,” the statement read.
“It fills us with sadness that an act as unacceptable as this is managing to tarnish the greatest sporting achievement in the history of Spanish women’s football.”
Following Rubiales’ comments on Friday, the president of Spain’s Higher Sports Council (CSD), Victor Francos, said the council would seek to suspend Rubiales as quickly as possible and following due process.
The CSD is an autonomous decision-making body of the Spanish government’s Ministry of Culture and Sports and has the potential power to demand the removal of Rubiales. However, for this, the body must follow a series of necessary steps, including filing a complaint against it and having the case heard before a court.
Some members of the Spanish soccer community have been particularly critical of Rubiales’ speech, with Hermoso’s international teammate and two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas calling it “unacceptable.”
Spain men’s international striker Borja Iglesias said on social media he would not play for the national team “until things change” while Spain’s acting second deputy prime minister Yolanda Diaz called for Rubiales to resign.