Luis Rubiales: Spanish FA calls ‘extraordinary & urgent’ meeting amid Jenni Hermoso kiss row

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Rubiales refused to step down from his role as the Spanish federation’s president but has been suspended by FIFA after he kissed Jenni Hermoso following Spain’s victory over England in Sydney.

The Spanish football federation has called an “extraordinary and urgent” meeting over the Women’s World Cup kissing row involving Luis Rubiales. The 46-year-old has repeatedly refused to step down from his role as the Spanish federation’s president but has been provisionally suspended by FIFA after he grabbed and kissed Jenni Hermoso following Spain’s victory over England in Sydney.

Hermoso, 33, has said that “in no moment” did she consent to the kiss. It was thought that Rubiales would resign at the Spanish federation’s general assembly on Friday (August 25) but instead he made a speech in which he insisted he would not step down, claiming he was the victim of “social assassination” and that the kiss had been consensual.

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Spain’s head coach Jorge Vilda has since criticised Rubiales’ behaviour, slamming it as “inappropriate and unacceptable”. Vilda’s entire coaching staff have resigned in protest, though he himself has not stepped down despite his comments over the incident.

A spokesperson said the Spanish federation’s interim president Pedro Rocha has called the meeting tomorrow (Monday, August 28) “to evaluate the situation in which the federation finds itself” and look at “the decisions or actions to be taken”. An internal investigation has also been launched after the federation’s sexual violence protocol was activated.

 President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales (C) reacts at the end of the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup final football match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia in Sydney on August 20. President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales (C) reacts at the end of the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup final football match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia in Sydney on August 20.
President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales (C) reacts at the end of the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup final football match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia in Sydney on August 20. | AFP via Getty Images

Maria Dolores Martinez Madrona, the protocol’s protection delegate who is conducting the probe, said in a statement “we demand the utmost respect for the right to privacy and dignity of every person involved”.

Hermoso appeared among spectators at the Women’s Cup final between Atletico Madrid and AC Milan this weekend and was applauded by the crowd. Players at the match held a banner reading: “With you Jennifer Hermoso”.

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