The Spanish soccer federation is taking legal action against national team member Henipher Hermoso, who was surprisingly kissed by FIFA president Luis Rubiales at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
According to the BBC, the Spanish soccer federation released a statement on Monday (June 26) saying that it has “conclusive evidence” that Hermoso’s statement to the local players’ union, Futpro, that she “never consented to the kiss” is false and that it will take legal action against her.
“We have conclusive evidence. President Rubiales did not lie,” emphasizing that “the association and the president will prove that the story spread by Hermoso or someone on his behalf is false.”
The federation also defended more than 80 Spanish women’s players, including Hermoso and 23 members of the women’s national team, who said they would not play for the national team unless Rubiales resigned, saying they were obligated to play if selected.
Along with the statement, the Spanish soccer federation attached four photos showing Hermoso hugging Rubiales and trying to lift her into the air, according to the DPA news agency.
Rubiales grabbed Hermoso’s face with both hands and kissed her during a ceremony after the Spanish team won the Women’s World Cup on Sept. 20.
Hermoso later said she “didn’t feel good,” and Rubiales claimed he had her consent beforehand.
He said that Hermoso had asked him to pick her up and lift her up, and that when he asked if he could kiss her “lightly,” he was told to do so.
However, Hermoso countered via FutbolPro that he never consented to the kiss and that the conversation Rubiales was referring to never happened.
Hermoso has since reiterated his stance on social media, saying that “no one should be a victim of this kind of non-consensual behavior in any workplace.”
More than 80 Spanish women’s soccer players, including Hermoso, released a statement through Futbol and announced their intention to boycott the organization.
FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Sevilla, three of the biggest names in Spanish professional soccer, have also condemned Rubiales.
Iker Casillas (retired), a goalkeeper during the golden era of the Spanish men’s national team, wrote on social media that he was “really embarrassed” and Borja Iglesias (Real Betis), an active striker, said he would refuse to play for the national team.
As the controversy grew, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez publicly criticized the gesture, calling it “unacceptable,” and according to the National Sports Council (CSD), the Spanish government plans to file a lawsuit against Rubiales, claiming he violated sports laws.
The legal proceedings could result in a temporary suspension of Rubiales’ credentials, and if the court finds “sexist behavior,” he could be removed from office. 먹튀검증