Spanish football federation says under fire boss ‘did not lie’ over kiss

26 August 2023, 10:37 | Updated: 26 August 2023, 13:42

Jenni Hermoso was kissed by FA boss Luis Rubiales
Jenni Hermoso was kissed by FA boss Luis Rubiales. Picture: Alamy

By Adam Solomons

The Spanish football federation says it will take legal action against forward Jenni Hermoso after its president was criticised for kissing her on the lips after the Women's World Cup final.

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Luis Rubiales has refused to quit despite pressure from the women's team, several major Spanish clubs and even the country's government.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) claims to have studied four images of the controversial kiss and that it was reportedly Hermoso’s 'force' that lifted him.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said: "The RFEF and Mr President will demonstrate each of the lies that are spread either by someone on behalf of the player or, if applicable, by the player herself.

"The RFEF and the President, given the seriousness of the content of the press release from the Futpro union, will initiate the corresponding legal actions."

The World Cup-winning squad has vowed to stop playing while he remains in post, with Hermoso accused the federation of a “manipulative, hostile and controlling culture".

Read more: Spanish FA boss Luis Rubiales refuses to quit blaming 'false feminism' amid outrage over World Cup kiss

Rubiales has faced widespread calls to resign
Rubiales has faced widespread calls to resign. Picture: PA

Rubiales was also seen grabbing his crotch while standing near Queen Letizia of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter Princess Infanta Sofia at Stadium Australia last weekend.

"I will not resign, I will not resign," he told an extraordinary general assembly called by the RFEF on Friday. "A social assassination is taking place here."

Rubiales apologised for the kiss on Monday before FIFA, world football's governing body, opened disciplinary proceedings against him on Thursday.

"I'm ready to be vilified to defend my ideals," he added.

Luis Rubiales justifications for World Cup final kiss 'reeks'

Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that Rubiales' attempt to apologise, which came after he initially insulted his critics, was unconvincing, and that "he must continue taking further steps" to be held accountable.

Spain's Higher Council of Sports, the nation's governing sports body, pledged it would act quickly to consider various formal complaints filed against Rubiales to see if he had broken Spain's sports law or the federation's own code of conduct that sanction sexist acts.

If so, Rubiales would face being declared unfit to hold his office by Spain's Administrative Court for Sports.

The combination of the gesture and the unsolicited kiss caused Rubiales to be described as a national embarrassment after his conduct was broadcast to a global audience, marring the Spanish team's accomplishment.

Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales' unconsensual kiss at women's World Cup final 'isn't a big deal’.

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