Forced kiss: the Federation demands the immediate resignation of Rubiales

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Luis Rubiales at a general meeting of the Spanish Football Federation on August 25, 2023 in Madrid.
Luis Rubiales at a general meeting of the Spanish Football Federation on August 25, 2023 in Madrid. (©RFEF/AFP/Archives/Eidan RUBIO)

The presidents of the regional federations of Spanish football, summoned by the interim president of the Federation, demanded on Monday the immediate resignation of Luis Rubiales, who is the subject of a preliminary investigation for sexual assault after giving a forced kiss to the international Jenni Hermoso.

The boss of Spanish football has indeed raised a wave of indignation kissing the player on the World Cup podium on August 20 in Sydney after the coronation of La Roja.

After the recent events and unacceptable behaviors that have seriously damaged the image of Spanish football, the presidents ask Luis Rubiales to immediately submit his resignation as president of the RFEF.

Spanish Football Federation

They are also in favor of “a deep and immediate restructuring of the Federation’s strategic positions in order to pave the way for a new stage in the management of Spanish football”.

“Sexual Assault Offense”

The pressure has been mounting and escalating in recent days, since Rubiales, 46, announced to everyone’s surprise last Friday that he was refusing to step down.

After Fifa’s decision to suspend him on Saturday “from all football-related activity at national and international level” for 90 days, he is now under preliminary investigation for sexual assault.

This investigation, said the prosecution in a press release, relates to “facts which could constitute a crime of sexual assault”.

Spanish justice invites Jenni Hermoso to contact “within 15 days” in order to be “informed of her rights as a victim” and to “file a complaint” if she wishes. According to the prosecution, a complaint from the Spanish international, 33, is essential for the launch of possible proceedings against the president of the RFEF, a spokeswoman told AFP.

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Seized by the Spanish government, the Administrative Sports Court (TAD) met for its part on Monday to study the complaint of the left executive against Luis Rubiales.

“MeToo of Spanish football”

The affair, already dubbed the “#MeToo of Spanish football” and which eclipsed the women’s world title of La Roja, led to a wave of indignation in Spain, but also abroad.

Several men’s and women’s football teams across the country displayed banners or T-shirts with the inscription #SeAcabo (let’s end it) to demand an end to impunity for sexist acts and sexual violence, a slogan that has gone viral on social networks.

Behind the #ContigoJenni (with you Jenni), the Norwegian men’s and women’s teams were the first to jointly support Jenni Hermoso on Monday.

“No consent from me”

The condemnations go beyond the world of football, with the legend of Spanish basketball Pau Gasol, and even of sport, with the Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman.

In a country considered very advanced in terms of women’s rights, the government of socialist Pedro Sanchez is particularly virulent against Luis Rubiales.

“Faced with a non-consensual kiss”, which can constitute sexual assault according to the Spanish Penal Code, “the government has an obligation to act”, estimated Monday the Minister for Equality, Irene Montero.

Rubiales, who blasted a supposed “ fake feminism “By announcing that he did not intend to resign, insists that this kiss was” consented “.

But the version of the former defender was categorically denied by the world champion, who said she felt “vulnerable and victim of an attack (…) without any consent on my part”.

Denouncing the “harassment” of which Luis Rubiales would be the victim, his mother began a hunger strike in a church in Motril (south), Vanessa Ruiz Bejar, a cousin of the president of the federation, told the press.

The RFEF is in the process of applying to organize the 2030 World Cup with Portugal and Morocco.

All 23 players in Australia’s hallowed squad refuse to play under current management and six members of the women’s squad quit on Saturday

Source: © 2023 AFP

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