The president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, is being investigated by Spanish prosecutors. Rubiales is being questioned about his actions following the Women’s World Cup victory, in which he had kissed a player. This incident occurred during the celebration of their victory in the Women’s World Cup. The unsolicited kiss on the lips, caught on video, has sparked outrage and calls for Rubiales to step down from his position. In response, Rubiales has vehemently defended his actions, leading to further criticism and increased pressure on the RFEF to take appropriate action.
The Controversial Incident
During the Women’s World Cup final, held in Sydney on August 20, 2023, Luis Rubiales was seen on video kissing Jennifer Hermoso, one of the star players on the Spanish Women’s National Team, without her consent. Although Rubiales issued an apology the following day, he later took a defiant stance, claiming that the kiss was “mutual” and accusing his critics of “false feminism.” However, Hermoso released a joint statement through her union, rejecting Rubiales’ account of the incident and describing it as an “impulse-driven, sexist, out-of-place act without any consent on my part.”
Growing Opposition and Calls for Action
Since the incident, opposition towards Rubiales has steadily grown, both within and outside the soccer community. The Spanish government, including Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, has condemned Rubiales’ conduct as “unacceptable,” while the secretary of the opposition People’s Party, Cuca Gamarra, labeled the kiss as “shameful.” Players from around the world have shown their support for Jennifer Hermoso, using the hashtag “se acabó” or “it’s over” on social media, indicating that they will not tolerate such behavior.
Investigation and Potential Consequences
Spanish prosecutors have initiated an investigation into Rubiales’ actions, considering the possibility of charging him with committing an act of sexual aggression. FIFA, the global governing body for soccer, has already suspended Rubiales from the sport for 90 days. The disciplinary committee of FIFA will evaluate whether Rubiales violated their code of conduct and brought the sport into disrepute. The committee has the authority to impose a range of sanctions, including warnings, fines, and even suspensions from the sport.
Context: Sexism and Scandals in Spanish Women’s Soccer
This incident involving Luis Rubiales has shed light on the issues of sexism and scandals within Spanish women’s soccer. While the Spanish Women’s National Team has recently achieved success on the international stage, reaching the Women’s World Cup for the first time in 2015, it has also faced challenges related to sexism and other controversies. The incident with Rubiales serves as a reminder that there is still work to be done to address these issues and create a more inclusive and respectful environment for women in soccer.
Rubiales’ Position and Future Implications
Luis Rubiales not only serves as the president of the RFEF but also holds the position of vice president at UEFA, the governing body for soccer in Europe. He has been leading a joint bid by Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and possibly Ukraine to host the 2030 World Cup. However, his involvement in this controversy has raised concerns about the impact it may have on Spain’s bid and the country’s image as a potential host. UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has yet to comment on Rubiales’ conduct, and it remains to be seen how this controversy will affect his role in the upcoming UEFA congress.
Reactions and Support for Jennifer Hermoso
Jennifer Hermoso, the player who was kissed by Rubiales without her consent, has received overwhelming support from her fellow players and the soccer community. The Women’s National Team players have announced that they will not participate in any games unless Rubiales steps down from his position. This unified stance demonstrates their commitment to holding individuals accountable for their actions and advocating for a safe and respectful environment within the sport.
1. What is Luis Rubiales being investigated for?
Luis Rubiales, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), is being investigated for allegedly committing an act of sexual aggression by kissing a player on the Spanish Women’s National Team without her consent.
2. What are the potential consequences for Rubiales?
If found guilty, Rubiales could face charges and potential legal consequences for his actions. Additionally, FIFA has already suspended him from soccer for 90 days, and their disciplinary committee has the authority to impose further sanctions, such as fines or suspensions.
3. How have players and the soccer community reacted to the incident?
Players from around the world have shown their support for Jennifer Hermoso, the player who was kissed without her consent. Many have used social media to express their outrage and have called for Rubiales to step down from his position. The Spanish Women’s National Team players have also announced that they will refuse to play any games unless Rubiales resigns.
4. What implications does this incident have for Spanish women’s soccer?
The incident involving Rubiales has brought attention to the issue of sexism and scandals within Spanish women’s soccer. While the team has achieved success on the international stage, this incident serves as a reminder that there is still work to be done to create a more inclusive and respectful environment for women in the sport.
5. How does this controversy affect Spain’s bid to host the 2030 World Cup?
Rubiales has been leading a joint bid by Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and possibly Ukraine to host the 2030 World Cup. However, his involvement in this controversy raises concerns about the impact it may have on Spain’s bid and the country’s image as a potential host. It remains to be seen how this controversy will affect the bid and Rubiales’ role in the upcoming UEFA congress.
First Reported on: NYTimes.com
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