Rubiales kiss scandal: FIFA take action but Spanish FA president won’t resign

After the Spanish women’s national team won their first-ever World Cup title by beating England in the final played in Australia earlier this month, the celebration and the achievement by this amazing football team were shadowed by the scandal that ensued.

Luis Rubiales scandal
Photo by Icon sport

So, what happened, what were the reactions to the scandal, and the latest developments? Keep reading to find out.

The start of the scandal – an unwanted kiss

During the awards ceremony after the final, Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales was celebration with the players. At one point, we can see him grabbing one of the players, Jenni Hermoso, and kissing her on the mouth. What perhaps seemed to be a shared act of celebration in the moment turned into a massive scandal afterwards.

Almost immediately after the ceremony, the reactions on the kiss started to pour and many people expressed their objections regarding the kiss, which they deemed inappropriate. While Rubiales tried to deflect these accusations, the pressure mounted and the Spanish FA president decided to hold a press conference on Friday.

The infamous conference by Rubiales expands the saga

While many expected Rubiales to resign in the press conference, the president doubled down on his actions, blaming “false feminists” and Jenni Hermoso for the unfounded “witch hunt”. He also said that Hermoso instigated the kiss, which was “more a peck than a kiss”.
Hermoso responded to Rubiales’ words in her own official statement, in which she reiterated that she did not consent to the kiss and that Rubiales is lying about the alleged conversation they had before the act.

FIFA’s reaction and suspension

With the pressure on the Luis Rubiales mounting even further in the days after the incident, FIFA finally reacted on Saturday. In their official statement, FIFA says that Luis Rubiales will be provisionally suspended from all football-related activities at national and international level for a period of 90 days, during which time the disciplinary proceedings regarding the incident should be concluded.

The reaction from other players and staff

Following Rubiales’ decision not to resign, the Spanish women’s national team issued and signed a letter in which they stated their intent not to play any matches until Rubiales is removed from his role as the president of the Spanish Football Federation (Rfef).

In addition to this, a number of coaching staff from the Spanish national team also walked out because of this incident and Rubiales’ refusal to step down. However, that’s not the case with Jorge Vilda, the team’s manager, who backed the president and received a public offer from Rubiales for a new 4-year, €2M contract.

Meanwhile, the Spanish football federation announced that they will legal action over Jennifer Hermoso “lies”, causing further chain of reactions in support of Hermoso.

What are the latest developments of the scandal?

After a lot of pressure, the Spanish Football Federation (Rfef) announced that they will hold an “extraordinary and urgent” meeting today, according to an official statement from the The Spanish federation’s interim president Pedro Rocha.

Meanwhile, Luis Rubiales’ mother locked herself in a church and started a hunger strike earlier today, in a protest of her son’s “inhumane treatment” after the incident.

In any case, it is clear that the end of this entire saga is nowhere near close, as we await the outcome of the scandal that shook women’s football world.

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