Spain’s Women’s World Cup winners refuse to play until Luis Rubiales is removed

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The Spanish women’s team have released a joint statement on Friday saying they will not play until the federation leadership is changed, mere hours after president of the Spanish FA, Luis Rubiales, comfirmed his intention to remain at the head of Spain’s football federation.

Rubiales has faced increasingly fierce criticism after he grabbed fooballber Jenni Hermoso by the head and kissed on her lips during the Women’s World Cup final trophy presentation on Sunday. Video later emerged of Rubiales grabbing his crotch in celebration in close proximity to the Queen of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter.

Speaking to media on Friday morning Rubiales doubled down on his position saying that he would fight to clear his name in court if necessary and refused to resign.

The statement published by players’ union Futpro included Hermoso’s rebuttal of Rubiales’ earlier assertion that the kiss was consensual.

“I want to clarify that, as was seen in the images, at no time did I consent to the kiss he gave me,” Hermoso said. “I do not tolerate my word being questioned and much less the invention of words I have not said.”


The joint statement, signed by 56 players including all 23 from the World Cup winning squad, says that the World Cup champions will not return to play for the national team as long as the leadership remains in place.

Elsewhere, Spain’s government has started the legal proceedings seeking to suspend the soccer federation chief who a spokesperson saying:

“The government starts today the procedure so that Mr Rubiales has to give explanations before the Sport Court and if the Sport Court agrees, I can announce that we will suspend Mr Rubiales from his functions,”

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