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Spanish soccer federation head refuses to quit over World Cup kiss scandal

Spanish soccer federation head refuses to quit over World Cup kiss scandal

Saturday, August 26, 2023, 16:01 GMT+7
Spanish soccer federation head refuses to quit over World Cup kiss scandal
Soccer Football - Spanish Soccer Federation Meeting - Ciudad Del Futbol Las Rozas, Las Rozas, Spain - August 25, 2023 General view as President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales announces he will be staying as president during the meeting. Photo: Reuters

Spanish football federation (RFEF) President Luis Rubiales refused to resign on Friday over his kiss on the lips of soccer player Jenni Hermoso following Spain's World Cup victory. Following are quotes and reactions:

RFEF President Luis Rubiales

"Is a consensual peck going to take me out of here? I won't resign. I will fight until the end," he said at an RFEF emergency assembly.

Jenni Hermoso

"I want to clarify that, as was seen in the images, at no time did I consent to the kiss he gave me and, of course, in no case did I seek to lift the president," she said in a statement signed by more than 50 Spanish players.

"I do not tolerate that my word is questioned and much less that words that I have not said are invented."

Spain's acting labour minister Yolanda Diaz

"What we have seen today in the Federation Assembly is unacceptable. The government must act and take urgent measures: Impunity for macho actions is over. Rubiales cannot continue in office."

Spain's gender equality minister Irene Montero

"Rubiales seeks impunity. In the face of this, the Public Prosecutor's Office and the CSD (High Council for Sports) act to protect the player, to say no to machismo and to guarantee the right to sexual freedom. Now more than ever, Jenni Hermoso, you are not alone."

Spain's acting social rights minister Ione Belarra

"Consent is not decided by the aggressor. It is decided by the woman. Mr. Rubiales' violent, mafia-like discourse will not work against a country that has already changed. Everyone already knows what kind of man he is."

World Cup champion and Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas

"This is unacceptable. It is over. With you partner @Jennihermoso."

World Cup champion and golden ball winner Aitana Bonmati

"There are limits that cannot be crossed and we cannot tolerate this. We are with you partner."

World Cup champion and goalkeeper Cata Coll

"What a shame I feel that 23 football players are not the protagonists ... it's over! With you until death, Jenni Hermoso."

Lola Gallardo, who was not selected for national team after player protest

"With you friend, Jenni Hermoso. People who had to give up their dreams to defend certain values ​​were found to be right."

U.S. forward Alex Morgan

"I'm disgusted by the public actions of Luis Rubiales. I stand by @Jennihermoso and the Spanish players.

"Winning a World Cup should be one of the best moments in these players' lives but instead it's overshadowed by assault, misogyny and failures by the Spanish federation."

Spain and Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias

"As a footballer and as a person I do not feel represented by what happened today... I have made the decision not to return to the national team until things change and these types of acts do not go unpunished."

Former Spain captain and World Cup winner Iker Casillas

"We should be these, (in the last) five days be talking about our girls! About the joy they gave us all! Of boasting a title that we didn't have in women's soccer."

Real Betis defender Hector Bellerin

"It's a real shame what's happening. From presenting our country with such vulgarity, to distort statements of the victim and above all having the courage to blame her to victimise herself for having committed an abuse, these are facts of which no one can go unpunished.

"The narcissist never believes they have made a mistake, they are able to lie, manipulate the truth and make the victim guilty in order to retain their power over others."

Paris St Germain manager and former Spain coach Luis Enrique

"If I'm basing it off of my own experience... The work he (Rubiales) has done over the years has been exceptional, taking the federation to new heights, beyond the results on the pitch.

"The numbers speak for themselves. I would say he's done a fantastic job. In terms of the episode that took place in the last game, I think the president himself has acknowledged his mistakes."

Global Players' Union FIFPRO

"We welcome FIFA's decision to open an ethics case, and steps taken at national level in Spain. Furthermore, we have written to UEFA - the organisation of which Mr Rubiales is a vice president - requesting that it starts disciplinary proceedings.

"Any lack of action by authorities in addressing the conduct of Mr Rubiales would send an entirely unacceptable and damaging message to the football industry and wider society."

England women's national team

"Unacceptable actions allowed to happen by a sexist and patriarchal organisation. Abuse is abuse and we have all seen the truth," the Lionesses said in a statement shared by captain Leah Williamson.

"The behaviour of those who think they are invincible must not be tolerated and people shouldn't need convincing to take action against any form of harassment. We all stand with you, @jennihermoso and all players of the Spanish team."

Canadian Players' Association

"All members of the Canadian Soccer Players Association stand with @Jennihermoso and the players of the Spanish National team. There is no room for misogyny, physical abuse, or misconduct of any kind in our game."

Hermoso's club in Mexico Pachuca Femenil

"Jenni has the full institutional, emotional and personal support of Grupo Pachuca, in this delicate moment of her life and career. We have full confidence in our athlete, our partner, our friend, our winner, our leader and our World Champion: an extraordinary woman. We will not leave you alone.

Hermoso's former club Barcelona

"FC Barcelona wishes to make it clear that it considers the actions of the president of the RFEF during the celebration of the Women's World Cup to be totally inappropriate and unfortunate."

Real Madrid

"Our club fully supports the decision taken by Victor Francos, the president of the Spanish Sports Council, who will immediately refer this case to the Administrative Sports Court."

Valencia CF

"We regret the lack of self-criticism, humility and humanity in Luis Rubiales' explanations to the assembly members on Friday.

"His behaviour at the Women's World Cup final in Australia and at the Extraordinary Assembly of the RFEF are inappropriate for his position in a prestigious organisation that represents all of us in the Spanish football family."

Former Spain basketball player Pau Gasol

"Sport should be a vehicle of union and representation of the values that make us great as a society.

"Equality and respect for others are two of those values and, although they should be applied in any field, all sports representatives should carry them as a flag.

"(Those) that represent the world of sport must be up to the task and I deeply regret the actions, attitude and people who are not capable of demonstrating these values and who, therefore, have no place in the world of sport or in positions of responsibility."

Reuters

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