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Women soccer

Jenni Hermoso denies Rubiales: “At no moment did I consent to the kiss”

Jenni Hermoso’s response to Luis Rubiales’ controversial behavior and the Spanish National Team’s unified stand against the current President

Jenni Hermoso’s response to Luis Rubiales’ controversial behavior and the Spanish National Team’s unified stand against the current President

All 23 members of Spain’s Women’s World Cup-winning team have declared that they won’t play for their country again as long as Luis Rubiales remains the president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

Jenni Hermoso, who has recently been under the spotlight following the “famous kiss” Rubiales gave her post-victory at the 2023 World Cup, made a joint statement through her union, FUTPRO on Friday. The 33-year-old forward denied Rubiales’ assertion that she had given consent for his kiss during the World Cup final celebrations.

This statement, endorsed by the entire Women’s World Cup squad and 58 former players, expressed their refusal to return to the national team while Rubiales holds his position.

This decision comes after a week of controversy and criticism surrounding Rubiales’ conduct following Spain’s World Cup victory in Sydney.

I want to clarify, as you can see in the images, that at no time did I consent to the kiss that he gave me,” Hermoso said. “I won’t tolerate that my word is called into question, and even less so that words are invented which I didn’t say.”

What is Rubiales saying amid scrutiny?

Rubiales, in a speech to the RFEF’s general assembly on Friday, referred to the calls for his resignation as a “social assassination” campaign by “false feminists.” He adamantly refused to step down.

Hermoso and her teammates called for “significant changes to support the growth of the national team and to carry this great success forward to future generations.” They made it clear that they will not represent Spain as long as the current management remains at the RFEF.

The President of Spain’s Sports Council (CSD) and the Secretary of State for Sport, Victor Francos, confirmed that the CSD is pursuing Rubiales’ removal by filing a complaint with the country’s Administrative Sports Court (TAD).

“This assembly, far from resolving the situation, increased the controversy,” Francos said. “The explanations given [by Rubiales] aren’t sufficient. The CSD today begins the procedure to suspend Luis Rubiales immediately from the RFEF presidency. ... As the person responsible for Spanish sport I have to apologize to the players. They didn’t deserve this this week.

Neither the CSD nor its president can remove [Rubiales]. I can’t sack anybody. But we can take the case to TAD if we believe a serious offense has been committed, and TAD can approve it or not.”

Although Rubiales was expected to announce his resignation, he instead used his platform at the federation’s assembly to defend his actions and criticize his detractors.

Related: Video: Jenni Hermoso in Ibiza with teammates

Alexia Putellas, Borja Iglesias, Irene Paredes... all against Rubiales

Numerous statements condemning Rubiales’s response followed from Spanish clubs, players, politicians, and governing bodies. Alexia Putellas, Ballon d’Or winner, deemed the situation “unacceptable,” while World Cup MVP Aitana Bonmatí posted that there are limits that cannot be crossed and must not be tolerated.

Defender Irene Paredes expressed her support for Hermoso, stating, “Everybody saw what happened. You [Hermoso] are the victim. I’m with you, friend,” Paredes wrote.

Borja Iglesias, a forward for Real Betis, declared that he won’t consider playing for the Spain men’s national team until the situation is resolve