Jennifer Hermoso has demanded "exemplary measures" against Luis Rubiales for kissing her without consent, as announced by her union, Futpro. In a statement this Wednesday, the footballer confirmed that Futpro and her agency are responsible for defending her "interests" and "being her representatives on this matter". Thus, they have asked that the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) implement "the necessary protocols, look after the rights of our players and adopt exemplary measures". "It is essential that our national team is always represented by figures who project values of equality and respect in all areas", they added. This Friday, an urgent assembly of the Federation has been called to discuss the future of Rubiales.
Right after she received the non-consensual mouth kiss at the World Cup medal ceremony, Hermoso made it clear: "I didn't like it, but what can I do about it?" Controversy broke out and the RFEF then provided some alleged statements from the footballer, in which she asked "not to give any more mileage" to the affair. Then, still in Sydney, in a radio interview she downplayed the importance of the kiss and said it was an "anecdote". But this Tuesday, it was learned that the first statements were invented by the Federation itself, while Rubiales himself had unsuccessfully pressured the world champion player to appear with him in his "apology" video. But now it's different: this statement is indeed the official position of the Spanish footballer.
“Mi sindicato FUTPRO, en coordinación con mi agencia TMJ se están encargando de defender mis intereses y ser los interlocutores sobre este asunto.” @Jennihermoso— FUTPRO (@futpro_es) August 23, 2023
Leer comunicado completo:https://t.co/MNY4yqLH7g#futpro #futfem pic.twitter.com/92SspR4FOt
Liga F also denounces Rubiales
Just before Hermoso's statement, the Spanish Women's Professional Football League (Liga F) spoke out on the issue and reported that it has filed a new complaint with Spain's High Sports Council (CSD) for the "serious actions and conduct" of Rubiales in the World Cup final. In fact, they request the president's removal from his duties. "One of the greatest feats in the history of Spanish sport was tarnished by the shameful behaviour of the highest representative of Spanish football who, once again, and guided by his continuous and usual desire for prominence, showed that he was not "up to the standards of the position he represents", the organization lamented.
The statement from Liga F goes beyond the kiss itself and reproaches the RFEF president for "an attitude that is far removed from the values of our society", both for the attack on Hermoso and for grabbing his genitals (an "inadmissible and disgusting" gesture) and for the subsequent statements - calling the people who criticized him "gilipollas, tontos del culo y pringaos" - "dickheads, dumb-asses, and suckers". In fact, they also objected to the supposed apology he made afterwards. "It is an attitude that has gone down in the history of world sport and, what is more serious, it will forever be linked to our women's team," adds the Liga F organization.
The Rubiales case represents "unprecedented international shame for Brand Spain, for Spanish sport and for world women's football". "When the eyes of the world should have been on our female footballers, the president managed to make the eyes of the world focus on his 'virility'", declared Liga F. That is why they cannot "allow this episode to remain without consequences" and affirm that this is the sort of crisis that "brings to an end this type of leader and behaviour".
"The gravity of what happened, the harm caused and the unanimous worldwide rejection force decisions to be made. Society has expressed itself clearly. Spain and football do not deserve a representative of this level, and the institutions must accompany and respond to the feelings of society", concludes the organization's statement - adding that "to do the opposite would be a humiliation for all women and the biggest defeat for Spanish sport and our country".
Díaz to meet with Hermoso's union, Futpro
In addition, the acting Spanish deputy PM and labour minister, Yolanda Díaz, is to meet with the president of the Futpro union, Amanda Gutiérrez. This will take place next Monday, August 28th, as the ministry announced this Wednesday, before Hermoso's announcement. The meeting will focus on the working conditions of the players and will try to specify actions so that Rubiales' behaviour is sanctioned. Thus, Díaz has asked that Spanish law of sports be complied with and that the protocols of the RFEF on sexist action be activated to force the departure of Rubiales from his current position.
Díaz's party, Sumar, already denounced Rubiales before the CSD for the non-consensual mouth kiss. In addition, the acting sports minister, Miquel Iceta, has threatened that if the RFEF does not act with Rubiales, the CSD itself will. In this regard, the future of the president of the Federation will be debated in an urgent RFEF assembly on Friday. It seems that Spain's territorial federations will support him, although some clubs, like Getafe, have already asked for his resignation. For now, FC Barcelona are waiting for the meeting to take an official position.