Home Football Spain’s Soccer Federation Initiates ‘Sexual Misconduct Protocol’ in Wake of Controversial Kiss by Luis Rubiales

Spain’s Soccer Federation Initiates ‘Sexual Misconduct Protocol’ in Wake of Controversial Kiss by Luis Rubiales

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Rubiales Investigation

Outcry Follows Rubiales’ Smooch: Stakeholders and Fans Take to the Streets

The Spanish Football Federation is in the eye of a storm as it sets in motion its sexual misconduct protocol, following a highly controversial action from its president, Luis Rubiales. FIFA has temporarily suspended Rubiales after he locked lips with striker Jenni Hermoso, in the aftermath of Spain’s triumph in the Women’s World Cup.

Hermoso, at 33, clarified that the smooch wasn’t something she agreed to. The awkward moment took place last Sunday, following Spain’s championship win.

Maria Dolores Martinez Madrona, the point person for the protocol’s enforcement, announced that an internal probe is currently underway. In an official statement, she emphasized, “We are in full swing with our investigation process and require the highest level of respect for everyone’s right to privacy and dignity involved in this matter.”

Madrona serves as the Protection Delegate for Sexual Violence and is responsible for conducting the inquiry and forwarding her conclusions to the Sexual Violence Advisory Committee.

The Spanish Football Federation has summoned its regional counterparts to an “emergency and crucial” meeting this coming Monday, with the aim of assessing the crisis engulfing the organization.

Upon announcing Rubiales’ suspension, FIFA explicitly directed him and the federation, along with any of its agents, to steer clear of any contact with Hermoso. Oddly enough, earlier that day, the federation had mooted taking legal action against Hermoso.

Rubiales, 46, despite facing immense public censure and calls to step down, expressed his intention to “battle it out to the last” while speaking at an exceptional general assembly convened by the federation.

Victor Francos, the country’s Sports Secretary and the head of the government’s National Sports Council, mentioned that the administration has initiated legal steps to further suspend Rubiales and has summoned him to appear before the Sports Court (TAD).

Miquel Iceta, Spain’s Minister of Sport, informed El Pais that the government would request the Sports Court to convene on Monday. Should the court approve the request, they will proceed to suspend Rubiales from his presidential duties immediately.

Timeline: How Did We End up Here?

  • August 20: In the wake of Spain’s Women’s World Cup win, Rubiales embraces and then kisses Hermoso on her lips. Hermoso subsequently states in a live stream that she found the experience unpleasant.

  • August 21: Facing severe backlash, including from the Spanish Prime Minister, Rubiales apologizes, stating he regrets offending anyone.

  • August 24: FIFA gets the ball rolling on disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales.

  • August 25: Rubiales remains defiant at an emergency federation meeting, insisting that the kiss was mutually agreed upon.

  • August 25: The Spanish government commences legal action to suspend Rubiales, stating that this could be the ‘MeToo moment’ for Spanish soccer.

  • August 25: Later in the day, Hermoso contradicts Rubiales’ statement, declaring via Instagram that the kiss was never consensual.

  • August 25: 81 players, including all Women’s World Cup participants, vow not to represent Spain until Rubiales is ousted.

  • August 26: The federation threatens legal proceedings against any spread of “false information.”

  • August 26: FIFA temporarily suspends Rubiales pending the resolution of disciplinary proceedings.

  • August 26: World Cup-winning coach Jorge Vilda and his entire coaching staff resign in protest against Rubiales.

  • August 27: The federation’s delegate for the sexual misconduct protocol confirms that the internal investigation is in progress.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Luis Rubiales scandal

What initiated the sexual misconduct protocol by the Spanish Football Federation?

The Spanish Football Federation’s sexual misconduct protocol was activated after its president, Luis Rubiales, kissed striker Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent, following Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory.

Who is responsible for conducting the internal investigation?

Maria Dolores Martinez Madrona, the federation’s Protection Delegate for Sexual Violence, is responsible for carrying out the internal investigation. She will then forward her findings to the Sexual Violence Advisory Committee.

What actions has FIFA taken against Luis Rubiales?

FIFA has provisionally suspended Luis Rubiales and has instructed him, along with the Spanish Football Federation and its personnel, to avoid any contact with Jenni Hermoso.

How did Jenni Hermoso react to the incident?

Jenni Hermoso clarified that the kiss was not consensual. She further contradicted Rubiales’ claim that the kiss was mutual by stating on Instagram that it was never consensual.

What stand have other players taken in this matter?

A total of 81 players, including all those who participated in the Women’s World Cup, have announced that they will not play for Spain’s women’s team until Rubiales is removed from his position.

How has the Spanish government responded to the situation?

The Spanish government has initiated legal proceedings to suspend Luis Rubiales. Victor Francos, Spain’s Sports Secretary, mentioned that Rubiales will be summoned to appear before the Sports Court (TAD) for explanations.

Is there any reaction from the coaching staff?

Yes, Jorge Vilda, the World Cup-winning head coach, along with his entire coaching staff, resigned in protest against Luis Rubiales.

What are the future steps planned by the Spanish Football Federation?

The federation has called an “emergency and crucial” meeting with its regional counterparts to assess the situation. It has also threatened to take legal action against the spread of “false information.”

Are there any other stakeholders involved?

Apart from FIFA and the Spanish Football Federation, the Spanish government has also involved itself in the matter, aiming for this incident to become a catalyst for a ‘MeToo moment’ in Spanish football.

How have public and media responded?

The incident has been met with widespread criticism, including from high-profile figures like the Spanish Prime Minister. Rubiales has been facing immense pressure to resign.

More about Luis Rubiales scandal

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JustJen August 27, 2023 - 3:05 pm

Jenni Hermoso is so brave for speaking out. Good for her. and wow, 81 players boycotting? That’s like, major solidarity.

TrendyTina August 27, 2023 - 5:38 pm

This could be the #MeToo moment for Spanish soccer. High time some change came around.

AnalogAdam August 28, 2023 - 12:55 am

Have we all forgotten what a professional setting is? Geez, keep it together people.

MusicalMindy August 28, 2023 - 2:31 am

Rubiales saying the kiss was consensual and then Hermoso denying it. Man, it’s like he said, she said but with serious consequences.

MovieBuff_89 August 28, 2023 - 3:44 am

This could literally be a plot in a movie. Who needs fiction when real life is this dramatic!

SoccerFan101 August 28, 2023 - 3:49 am

Whoa, this is like a soap opera but in the sports world! Rubiales better have a good defense team cuz he’s gonna need it.

GenZ_Geek August 28, 2023 - 4:28 am

Suspended by FIFA? That’s not something you just shake off. What’s he gonna do, blame lag?

TechyTed August 28, 2023 - 4:37 am

Govt getting involved huh? This thing escalated quicker than a Reddit thread. lol

SportsAnalyst August 28, 2023 - 5:19 am

if Rubiales doesn’t step down, the federation could be heading for a major PR disaster. The players and public have spoken.

GoalGetter August 28, 2023 - 1:21 pm

Just when you thought winning the World Cup was all about glory and champagne. Nope, real life drama sneaks in.


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