Jenni Hermoso has spoken. You no longer have to interpret her gestures. Until now we knew that that non-consensual kiss on the mouth planted by the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, at the celebrations for the World Championship won by the women’s team in Australia and New Zealand, was not he liked it. This is how she expressed it, shortly after it happened, in a live broadcast on social networks. Now, three days later, we also know that she considers that the conduct of the highest president of Spanish football “attempts against the dignity of women.”
Hermoso, 33, spoke like this yesterday, through a statement issued by the union that represents Spanish soccer players and of which she is a member. “My Futpro union, in coordination with my TMJ agency, are taking charge of defending my interests and being the interlocutors on this matter,” said the player in the only statements she has made since she returned from Australia with the Cup.
The letter expresses the firm and resounding condemnation of Futpro, on behalf of Hermoso, before the events that occurred during the final: “From our association we ask the Royal Spanish Football Federation to implement the necessary protocols, ensure the rights of our players and take exemplary measures.”
The Federation itself had put into Hermoso’s mouth last Monday a few words that downplayed the event. And they spoke of the controversial kiss like this: “It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture due to the immense joy that winning a World Cup gives. The president and I have a great relationship, his behavior with all of us has been outstanding and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude. You can not go around a gesture of friendship and gratitude, we have won a World Cup and we are not going to deviate from what is important ”, assured the federation that Jenni said.
Futpro’s statement seems to endorse the information published on Tuesday by the digital media Relevo, which claimed that those words were not said by Hermoso. The majority union of the players believes it is essential that the team is always represented by figures who project values of equality and respect in all areas: “It is necessary to continue advancing in the fight for equality, a fight that our players have led with determination, bringing us to the position we are in today.”
In the note, Futpro also calls on the Higher Sports Council (CSD) so that, within its powers, it actively supports and promotes prevention and intervention in the face of sexual harassment or abuse, machismo and sexism. “From the union we are working so that acts like the ones we have seen never go unpunished, are sanctioned and the pertinent measures are adopted to protect soccer players from actions that we believe are unacceptable,” they settle.
Until yesterday, and despite the aforementioned statement from the federation in which the kiss was downplayed, alleging an alleged friendship between the president and the footballer, Jenni Hermoso’s gestures cast doubt on the RFEF version. She did not want to talk about the matter anymore and she was also seen avoiding Rubiales. He did it in the different group photos that have been taken of the champion team: in a video that went viral on social networks, Hermoso, together with his friend Alexia Putellas, walks away from the group when he sees himself in the center of the image next to the president and coach Jorge Vilda. In another of those viral videos, the Spanish leader can be seen saying goodbye to Real Madrid player Olga Carmona (23 years old), at the airport baggage claim. Next to her is Hermoso, whom she then taps on the shoulder. But she avoids him.
Jenni’s first words come the same day that another photo taken in full celebration of the title in the Sydney stadium yesterday highlighted how the federation president relates to the players. In the image Rubiales is seen, on the grass, carrying forward Athenea Del Castillo, 22, on his shoulders.
Complaint of League F
Futpro representatives will meet next Monday with the acting second vice president of the Government and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, so that Rubiales’ acts are “duly sanctioned.” Díaz herself presented, as leader of the Sumar party, a complaint to the CSD in which she requested that the federative president be removed from his position and that “the protocol for action against sexual violence” be put into operation.
The Professional Women’s Soccer League (Liga F) has also filed a complaint with the president of the CSD, Víctor Francos, “for the very serious acts and conduct” carried out by Luis Rubiales. In addition, the League requests the disqualification of him as president of the RFEF. From the competition, they regret “an attitude far removed from the values of our society that has been fought against for decades” and that, unfortunately, they say, “will remain forever linked to our women’s team.”
Also yesterday, the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, published an extensive article on account of Rubiales’s kiss in which she insisted that “only yes is yes.” “Two people kiss if they both want to. If there is consent. Putting consent at the center means recognizing that actions that until now were considered normal are violence. Like a non-consensual kiss”.
The president is, for the moment, in the hands of the federation itself, which could sanction him by applying its protocol against sexual violence. Although, given the possibility that the territorial presidents close ranks around the Andalusian leader, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, warned yesterday that if the RFEF does not take action against Rubiales, the Government will.
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