Spain’s women’s football team, who won the World Cup in Australia last Sunday, have issued a statement claiming that they will not represent their country while the current directors of Spanish football remain in place.
The statement followed an extraordinary speech by RFEF President Luís Rubiales, who was widely expected to offer his resignation yesterday morning following an international controversy about the way he kissed player Jenni Hermoso forcefully on the lips during the trophy-lifting ceremony on Sunday.
Instead, Rubiales insisted the kiss had been a “peck”, and that Hermoso had given her consent. He went on to claim he was the victim of a “social assassination” and “fake feminism”.
The players’ union Futpro later issued a statement by the Spanish women’s team in which Hermoso repeated that she had not given consent:“I will not put up with my word being questioned and even less with words being put into my mouth,” she said.
The 23 players in the World Cup-winning Spanish team ended the letter by saying that they would not appear for the national team until the current directors were removed. This appears to include not only Rubiales, but also Jorge Vilda, the manager who took them to the final.
The Rubiales affair has received prominent international coverage, and many players and supporters have expressed anger at the way it has tainted the reputation of Spanish football and overshadowed the achievement of the women’s team.
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