Jenni Hermoso Says She ‘Didn’t Consent’ to Luis Rubiales Kiss

Jenni Hermoso says she did not give permission for Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales to kiss her – with 81 players declaring they won’t participate for Spain’s female team unless he steps down from his position.

After the act of kissing Hermoso during the Women’s World Cup victory over England in Sydney, Rubiales has refused to resign.

Legal actions to suspend the 46-year-old Rubiales are now underway by the Spanish authorities, and FIFA has also initiated disciplinary actions.

It was widely believed that Rubiales would step down during a special meeting held by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), but he instead stated, “I don’t deserve this manhunt.”

He further elaborated, “Jenni was the one who lifted me up. I told her to ‘forget about the penalty [that Mary Earps saved]’ and I said to her ‘a little peck?’ and she said ‘OK’.”

“It was a spontaneous kiss. Mutual, euphoric and consensual. That’s the key. A consensual ‘peck’ is enough to get me out of here?”

Pachuca’s Hermoso shared a detailed post online, emphasizing, “I want to make clear that at no time did the conversation to which Mr Luis Rubiales refers to in his address take place and, above all, was his kiss ever consensual.”

She stressed that his assertions are “categorically false and part of the manipulative culture that he has generated.”

“My motivation to share this is my conviction that nobody should endure such non-consensual acts in any environment – professional, athletic, or social. I felt exposed and a target of a rash, gender-biased, inappropriate behavior, given without my consent,” she explained further.

“Quite simply, I was not respected.” She also mentioned being “under continuous pressure” to assist in crafting a “statement to validate” Rubiales’ behavior, a pressure that extended to her relatives, friends, and colleagues.

She expressed, “These types of incidents add to a long list of situations that the players have been denouncing”.

“This incident is the final straw and what everyone has been able to witness on live television also comes with attitudes like the one we saw this morning [Friday] and have been part of our team’s daily life for years”.

England’s Lionesses, who were defeated by Spain in the championship, labeled the incident as “improper”.

They expressed, “The behaviour of those who think they are invincible must not be tolerated and people shouldn’t take any convincing to take action against any form of harassment.We are with you, Jenni Hermoso.”

A statement from the players’ union, Futpro, garnered signatures from numerous players, encompassing all 23 members of the recently victorious Spain World Cup team.

The statement read: “After everything that happened during the delivery of medals of the Women’s World Cup, we want to state that all the players who sign this letter will not return to a call for the national team if the current leaders continue.”

Spain is scheduled to face Sweden in the Nations League on 22 September.

Borja Iglesias, of Real Betis, conveyed that while Rubiales remains, he won’t represent the men’s national squad.

The Spanish officials have urged Rubiales to present his side in a Spanish court promptly, as communicated by the sports secretary Victor Francos.

Should the administrative court determine that he breached the professional sports code, a suspension might be imposed.

In the meantime, Fifa will examine if his behavior infringes upon Article 13 of its disciplinary guidelines, which addresses inappropriate conduct and sportsmanship.