Spanish Football Federation to Take Legal Action Over Jennifer Hermoso’s Allegations

The Spanish football federation has announced its intention to pursue legal action against Jennifer Hermoso, a player for the Spanish women’s national team, over her comments regarding an incident involving the federation’s president, Luis Rubiales. The federation has denied allegations made by Hermoso that she did not consent to a kiss from Rubiales after Spain’s Women’s World Cup final win over England. In response, the federation has questioned Hermoso’s version of events and stated that “the evidence is conclusive” that Rubiales did not lie.
The controversy arose when Hermoso, speaking through her legal representation – the players’ union Futpro – claimed that she did not seek to lift Rubiales during their embrace on the podium following the final. The federation, in its statement, declared that it would demonstrate the falsehood of the allegations made by either someone on Hermoso’s behalf or by the player herself. Moreover, the federation expressed its intention to initiate legal action in response to the seriousness of the accusations made by Futpro and Hermoso.
The situation has led to further complications within the Spanish national team, with numerous players refusing to represent Spain until Rubiales is removed from his position. The federation has responded by emphasizing that selected players have an obligation to play for their country, while also facing dissent from male players such as Borja Iglesias, who has stated that he will not play for the men’s national team as long as Rubiales remains in charge.
To support its position, the federation released four images of the embrace between Hermoso and Rubiales, accompanied by an analysis to demonstrate that Hermoso applied force to lift Rubiales’ feet off the ground. The federation claims to have attempted to contact Hermoso, but without success. The incident involving Rubiales has drawn international criticism, with government ministers calling for his resignation.
Following the kiss, Rubiales garnered attention for grabbing his crotch during Spain’s victory celebration, which occurred in the presence of Queen Letizia of Spain and her daughter. While Hermoso initially expressed discomfort with Rubiales’ actions on Instagram, a subsequent statement released on her behalf defended him. Rubiales issued an apology for the kiss, but this was deemed insufficient by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and the second deputy prime minister Yolanda Diaz also called for his resignation.
In response to the disciplinary proceedings initiated by FIFA against Rubiales, the RFEF called for an extraordinary general assembly, where Rubiales was expected to resign. However, he decided to maintain his position, vowing to fight until the end and characterizing the kiss as “mutual, euphoric, and consensual.” The Spanish government has subsequently taken legal action seeking to suspend Rubiales, prompting further statements from Hermoso and Futpro on social media and leading to the RFEF’s decision to pursue legal action.
There has been widespread condemnation of Rubiales’ refusal to step down. Beatriz Alvarez, president of Liga F, Spain’s top women’s league, criticized Rubiales for prioritizing his ego over his dignity and honor. While more people are expected to join in the criticism, some individuals are beginning to speak out due to the lack of determination displayed by Rubiales.
The incident involving Rubiales has also had an impact beyond Spain, with players in the United States’ National Women’s Soccer League showing their support for Hermoso by wearing wristbands featuring the message “Contigo Jenni” (With you Jenni). US striker Alex Morgan condemned Rubiales’ actions, expressing disgust at the assault, misogyny, and failures by the Spanish federation, which have overshadowed what should have been a moment of celebration for the players who won the World Cup.