In an unprecedented move, the Spanish government has initiated legal action with the intention of suspending Luis Rubiales following an incident where he kissed World Cup star Jenni Hermoso on the lips. The Spanish secretary of sport has called for this to be “a MeToo moment in Spanish football.”
Despite intense scrutiny and widespread condemnation, Rubiales remains steadfast in his refusal to step down after the incident that took place during Spain’s Women’s World Cup final victory over England.
FIFA has responded by launching disciplinary action against Rubiales, who is 46 years old and a former player.
The Me Too movement, known for its fight to eradicate violence against women, gained major attention in 2017 after film mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of multiple sexual offences, leading to his conviction and imprisonment.
Victor Francos, secretary of sport and the leader of the National Sports Council, has declared, “The government commences the procedure today, requiring Mr. Rubiales to appear before the Sport Court. If the court concurs, we will suspend him from his duties. There must be change. The government wants to be unambiguous, making it clear that such incidents must never reoccur.”
However, the sports council lacks the authority to suspend Rubiales unless a court determines the kiss violated professional sports codes.
Rubiales’ controversial kiss with the Spanish forward occurred during the trophy presentation ceremony after the Sydney final. Hermoso later expressed her displeasure with the act on social media.
Though Rubiales issued an apology earlier in the week and was expected to announce his resignation at a special general assembly, he instead pledged to “battle to the bitter end.” He also issued an apology on Friday for an inappropriate celebration in the presence of Spanish royalty at Stadium Australia.
Spanish officials, including acting labour minister Yolanda Diaz and acting social rights minister Ione Belarra, have called Rubiales’ actions unacceptable, vowing to take action and stressing that “consent is not decided by the aggressor.”
“This is Unacceptable” – Outrage Within Spanish Football
Reactions within the Spanish football community have been predominantly negative towards Rubiales.
World Cup-winning team members, including Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, have publicly denounced Rubiales, stating, “This is unacceptable. It is over. We are with you, partner Jenni Hermoso.”
Other players, such as Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias, have voiced their lack of representation by Rubiales and announced their withdrawal from the national team until substantial changes are made.
Several top Spanish clubs like Barcelona, Sevilla, Espanyol, and Racing Santander have also expressed their strong criticism of Rubiales’ actions.
Jenni Hermoso, who played for Barcelona before joining Mexican side Pachuca, also received support from her former club, who stated, “FC Barcelona wishes to express that the behavior of the RFEF president during the World Cup celebrations is both improper and inappropriate. We find the incident deplorable.”
England’s forward Beth Mead also chimed in on social media, calling the incident “unacceptable” and ridiculing the fact that such individuals still wield immense power within the sport.
Visit this link for all the updates on the Women’s World Cup saga.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Luis Rubiales
What incident involving Luis Rubiales has caused controversy?
Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish football federation, kissed World Cup star Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the Women’s World Cup final victory celebration. This incident has sparked widespread outrage and led to legal proceedings seeking to suspend him.
Who is taking legal action against Luis Rubiales?
The Spanish government has initiated legal action against Rubiales, with the secretary of sport calling for this to be a “MeToo moment” in Spanish football.
What was Jenni Hermoso’s reaction to the kiss?
Jenni Hermoso expressed her displeasure with the kiss on social media, stating, “I didn’t like it.”
Have any football clubs or players spoken out against Rubiales?
Yes, several Spanish football clubs, including Barcelona, Sevilla, Espanyol, and Racing Santander, as well as players like Alexia Putellas and Borja Iglesias, have publicly denounced Rubiales’ actions.
Is FIFA involved in the matter?
FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Luis Rubiales, adding to the growing pressure on him to resign.
What was Rubiales’ response to the incident?
Rubiales issued an apology but has refused to resign, vowing to “fight until the end.” He was expected to announce his resignation but instead reaffirmed his commitment to his position.
What are the potential legal consequences for Rubiales?
The Spanish government has started a procedure requiring Rubiales to appear before the Sport Court. If the court agrees, the government will suspend him from his functions. However, the sports council cannot suspend him unless the court rules that the kiss violated professional sports codes.
More about Luis Rubiales
- Women’s World Cup News
- Spanish Football Federation
- FIFA Official Website
- Me Too Movement
- FC Barcelona Official Statement
- Spanish National Sports Council