Luis Rubiales Scandal : After Luis Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso inappropriately during the Women’s World Cup final, there has been widespread outcry in soccer. Rubiales is increasingly isolated as a result. FIFA banned Rubiales for 90 days, and most of Spain’s women’s team quit, except for the head coach, Jorge Vilda.
Hermoso stated the kiss was unwelcome and vowed not to play for the national team as long as Rubiales was president. “I felt vulnerable and like a victim of a sexist act done without my permission,” Hermoso said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).
Rubiales said the kiss was voluntary, and the federation backed him in two statements. One even threatened to sue Hermoso for spreading “lies.”
Many famous sports figures have taken sides in this escalating conflict. Iniesta, the 2010 World Cup winner for Spain, criticized Rubiales for damaging our country’s football image globally. Jorge Vilda, Spain’s Women’s World Cup-winning coach, expressed sadness over Rubiales’ behavior, diverting attention from the victory.
Over the weekend, many supported Hermoso after the scandal. During the Women’s Cup final in Madrid, players from AC Milan and Atletico Madrid held a sign that said, “With You, Jennifer Hermoso.” Banners and wristbands supported American teams like Houston Dash, KS Current, Orlando Pride, and San Diego Wave. In Mexico, CF Pachuca showed support for Hermoso with a big sign.
Cadiz and Sevilla, top men’s soccer teams, also supported Hermoso during their games. In Cadiz, there was a sign that said: “Todos Somos Jenni” (We are all Jenni). Sevilla players wore “SeAcabó” T-shirts to signal the end of Rubiales’ tenure.
Barcelona boss Xavi criticized Rubiales’s actions and supported Hermoso and the players. I’m sorry people aren’t discussing the World Cup win. Iniesta reiterated his sadness over these actions, stating they cannot be allowed, particularly when they detract from significant victories like the World Cup.
This turmoil has affected politics, too. Spain’s acting second deputy PM, Yolanda Daz, asked Rubiales to resign after sharing the Cadiz banner.
The federation’s Sexual Violence Advisory Committee will investigate Rubiales as part of its process for addressing sexual violence. All Spain women’s team coaches, except Vilda, have resigned. Their statement shows Hermoso feels victimized. They also mentioned being compelled to attend a meeting to back Rubiales, with women strategically placed in the front row for the appearance of female support.
There’s doubt about Spain’s game on September 22. Amidst the chaos of Spain’s women’s soccer team winning the World Cup, joy and pride seem lost. This highlights issues with women’s safety and respect in sports.