Spain Women’s Soccer Team Will Refuse To Play Until Soccer Chief Resigns For Kissing Player


Jenni Hermoso, the Spanish soccer player who was kissed by Spanish Football Federation chief Luis Rubiales, said Friday that the interaction was not consensual—a statement that received solidarity from the Spain women’s national football team, which said in a joint release that it will refuse to play further fixtures until Rubiales is removed.

Rubiales received applause during the emergency meeting in which he said he wouldn’t resign … [+] following the backlash from the kiss. (Photo by GABRIEL MONNET / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL MONNET/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

Hermoso, a forward for the women’s soccer team, said in a statement Friday that she was a victim of an “impulsive” and sexist act “without any consent” on her part.

Hermoso was backed by her World Cup-winning team, which said it wouldn’t play further matches until Rubiales is removed from the Spanish Football Federation.

The stand against Rubiales came not long after the federation president said he would not resign multiple times during an emergency meeting with the federation, according to the Associated Press.

Rubiales, despite receiving widespread criticism for the kiss, said it was consensual and that he was the victim of a witch hunt by “false feminists,” during the meeting.

Hermoso’s teammates took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to support her, with midfielder Alexia Segura saying the situation was “unacceptable” and that she stood with Hermoso.

What To Watch For

Legal proceedings against Rubiales were initiated Friday by Spain’s government, which could suspend the federation president. Victor Francos, head of Spain’s National Sports Council, told reporters Friday that Rubiales will have to provide “explanations before the Sport Court and if the Sport Court agrees, I can announce that we will suspend Mr. Rubiales from his functions.”

Key Background

Rubiales initially apologized for the kiss. On Monday, the federation president said in a video that he needed to “take more care” when representing his organization but noted the backlash over the interaction was “idiotic.” He avoided the topic of consent in the video but said he considered the kiss “natural and normal.” Rubiales was also seen hugging and kissing other players on the cheek after the team’s World Cup victory. By Thursday, Rubiales was planning to shortly resign from his post, according to ESPN and Spanish media, an intention Rubiales walked back by Friday. The team’s next two games on September 22 and September 26 could be canceled as a result of the boycott, which has backing from all players on the World Cup squad and 56 other female football players. After the September fixtures, the team has an additional two matches scheduled for October.

Further Reading

Spanish Soccer Chief Won’t Resign After Kissing Player—Attacks ‘False Feminists’ (Forbes)

Spanish Soccer Head Apologizes For Kissing Player After World Cup Win (Forbes)

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