Motril, a town in southern Spain, has seen a flurry of media attention recently as the mother of Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish football federation, was admitted to the hospital after embarking on a hunger strike. The hunger strike is a protest against the perceived mistreatment of her son, according to statements made by a local priest.
Angeles Bejar, the mother of Luis Rubiales, began her hunger strike by locking herself inside the Divina Pastora church in Motril on Monday. This act of protest was triggered by the heavy criticism Luis Rubiales faced for an incident involving a kiss he shared with Spain’s Jenni Hermoso during the World Cup final. The kiss, which took place during the presentation ceremony in Sydney on August 20, has stirred controversy with Hermoso claiming that it was not consensual.
Angeles Bejar, upon entering the church, announced to the Spanish news agency EFE that her hunger strike would continue indefinitely, day and night. She expressed her dissatisfaction with what she described as an “inhuman and bloody hunt” against her son, declaring that he did not deserve such treatment.
The local priest, identified as Father Antonio, informed Reuters news agency that Bejar’s hospitalization was a result of her deteriorating health due to the hunger strike and the challenging conditions she had subjected herself to. Her swollen feet, exhaustion, and heightened nervousness prompted her hospitalization, causing her to cancel a scheduled news conference.
The controversy around Luis Rubiales intensified when he was suspended by FIFA, the world football’s governing body, just a day after he had stated that he would not resign. Rubiales had claimed that the kiss with Jenni Hermoso was “mutual and consensual.” However, this assertion was met with skepticism, and regional leaders of the Football Federation called for his immediate resignation. Spanish prosecutors also initiated a preliminary investigation into whether the incident could be classified as a crime of sexual assault.
Meanwhile, Spain’s acting equality minister, Irene Montero, emphasized the need to break the “pact of silence” surrounding sexist behavior in Spanish society. Montero expressed hope that the widespread support for Jenni Hermoso following the incident would serve as a turning point in combating sexism. She highlighted Spain’s determination to end sexism and conveyed the message that the country was taking a stand against such behavior.
The incident has prompted protests across Spain both in support of Hermoso and against Rubiales. The United Nations Human Rights office also voiced its support for Hermoso, underlining the responsibility to speak out against sexual harassment and abuse.
The sequence of events leading up to this point started with the kiss on August 20 during the World Cup final ceremony, followed by Rubiales’ apology on August 21. FIFA’s disciplinary proceedings began on August 24, and Rubiales defiantly refused to resign on August 25, further calling the kiss “consensual.” This stance was contradicted by Hermoso’s statement on August 25, asserting that the kiss was not consensual. The situation escalated as 81 Spanish players announced their refusal to play for Spain’s women’s team until Rubiales stepped down. Amidst this turmoil, FIFA provisionally suspended Rubiales on August 26, and the coach’s staff resigned in protest. The Federation’s internal investigation, confirmed on August 27, added another layer to the ongoing saga. Rubiales’ mother’s hunger strike, beginning on August 28, led to her hospitalization on August 30, marking a dramatic development in this complex series of events.
The incident surrounding Luis Rubiales serves as a reminder of the broader issues within the world of sports, gender dynamics, and the power of public opinion. As the situation continues to unfold, it remains to be seen what the lasting impact will be on Spanish football and the broader conversation surrounding sexism in society.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hunger Strike
What prompted Luis Rubiales’ mother to go on a hunger strike?
Angeles Bejar, Luis Rubiales’ mother, initiated a hunger strike in protest against the perceived mistreatment of her son, who had faced criticism over a controversial kiss shared with Jenni Hermoso during the World Cup final.
What was the controversial incident involving Luis Rubiales and Jenni Hermoso?
Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish football federation, shared a kiss with Spain’s Jenni Hermoso during the World Cup final presentation ceremony. Hermoso later stated that the kiss was not consensual, sparking a wave of controversy.
Why was Luis Rubiales suspended by FIFA?
Following the controversy surrounding the kiss incident, FIFA, the world football’s governing body, suspended Luis Rubiales. The suspension came after Rubiales had stated that he would not resign and claimed the kiss was “mutual and consensual.”
How did the Spanish society react to the incident?
The incident prompted protests across Spain both in support of Jenni Hermoso and against Luis Rubiales. Spain’s acting equality minister emphasized the need to break the “pact of silence” surrounding sexist behavior and called for an end to normalizing such behavior.
What actions were taken against Luis Rubiales?
Regional leaders of the Football Federation called for Luis Rubiales’ immediate resignation. Spanish prosecutors also launched a preliminary investigation into whether the incident could be classified as a crime of sexual assault. Additionally, FIFA provisionally suspended Rubiales pending the outcome of its disciplinary proceedings.
What impact did the incident have on Spanish football?
The incident led to internal turmoil within Spanish football. 81 Spanish players, including those who participated in the Women’s World Cup, announced their refusal to play for Spain’s women’s team until Rubiales stepped down. The coach’s staff also resigned in protest against Rubiales’ position as federation president.
What was the significance of Luis Rubiales’ mother’s hunger strike?
Luis Rubiales’ mother’s hunger strike marked a significant turn in the ongoing saga. Her act of protest, combined with the broader controversy, added a new layer of complexity to the situation and garnered further attention from both the media and the public.
How is Spain addressing the issue of sexism in society?
Spain’s acting equality minister highlighted the determination of Spanish society to end sexism and stressed the importance of breaking the “pact of silence.” The incident served as a point of reflection for the nation, prompting conversations about gender dynamics and the need for change.
What does the future hold for Luis Rubiales and Spanish football?
The situation remains uncertain, with ongoing investigations, calls for resignation, and public protests. The incident serves as a reminder of the broader issues within sports and society, and its resolution will likely have lasting implications for both Luis Rubiales and Spanish football as a whole.
More about Hunger Strike
- Spanish Football Federation
- Jenni Hermoso
- Spanish Ministry of Equality
- United Nations Human Rights Office
- Luis Rubiales Biography
- Divina Pastora Church
- Sexual Assault Laws in Spain
- Spain’s MeToo Movement
- Spanish Football Controversy
- FIFA’s Disciplinary Proceedings
- Spanish Women’s Football Team
- FIFA Code of Ethics
- Luis Rubiales’ Instagram