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Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales will ‘defend’ after FIFA ban over behavior in Women’s World Cup final.

A statement released by the Spanish Football Federation reads: “Luis Rubiales has stated that he will defend himself legally before the competent bodies, he fully trusts FIFA and reiterates that in this way he will be given the opportunity to continue with his defence to begin.” The truth prevails and his utter innocence is proven.”

Rubiales has refused to step down from his post despite causing an uproar when he kissed Hermoso on the lips as she accepted her medal after Spain’s 1-0 win over England last weekend in Sydney.

People hold up banners as they protest against the President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales

Hermoso stressed on Friday that she didn’t consent to the kiss, but that her country’s football federation (RFEF) said it would take legal action against the striker’s comments about Rubiales.

Spain’s Jenni Hermoso reacts to the kiss of the Spanish federation president

The situation took another turn when FIFA, which launched disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales on Thursday, announced in a statement that the 46-year-old official had been banned for an initial period of 90 years “from all football-related activities at national and international level”. days.

Gary Lineker, a former England and Barcelona player, summed up much of the public reaction to the FIFA move by posting in Spanish on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Por fin! (Finally).”

Rubiales played mainly in the second Spanish division in his twelve-year career. When he was elected head of the RFEF in 2018, he promised to modernize the structure, increase sales and make the association more transparent.

Feminist groups held demonstrations in Madrid, Santander and Logroño on Saturday demanding his resignation.

Hermoso has won the support of the Spanish government, which, while unable to sack Rubiales, has strongly condemned his actions and is seeking a legal route to a sports court to have him suspended.

The Spanish women’s team has also mutinied. In a joint statement sent out via their FUTPRO union on Friday night, all 23 members of the cup-winning squad, including Hermoso, along with 32 other team members, said they would not play internationals as long as Rubiales remained in charge of the federation.

In the same statement, Hermoso denied Rubiales’ claim that the kiss he gave her was consensual, writing, “I want to clarify that, as can be seen in the pictures, I never accepted the kiss he gave me gave, agreed, and of course.” Of course, by no means did I try to unseat the President.

In its statement early Saturday, the federation stated: “The RFEF and the President will take appropriate legal action given the seriousness of the content of the FUTPRO Union press release.”

“Where the rule of law prevails… opinions are countered with facts and evidence, and lies are debunked in court.”

“The RFEF and the President will uncover any lie spread either by anyone on behalf of the player or, where applicable, by the player himself,” it said.

The statement was accompanied by four photos from last Sunday’s event, which allegedly illustrated Rubiales’ claim that Hermoso lifted him by the hips.

It was widely expected that Rubiales would resign at an emergency federation meeting on Friday. Instead, he repeatedly said he would not give up and lamented that “fake feminists” were “trying to kill me.”

Acting Secretary of Labor Yolanda Diaz called his speech “unacceptable”. She wrote on social media: “The government must act and take urgent action: impunity for macho actions is over. Rubiales cannot remain in office.”

Gender issues have become an important issue in Spain in recent years. Tens of thousands of women have taken part in street marches to protest against sexual abuse and violence.

The Socialist-led coalition government has pushed ahead with legislative reforms including equal pay, abortion, sex work and transgender rights.

Rubiales’ comments and the supportive reaction of many viewers at Friday’s FA meeting drew widespread criticism on social media. The defeated England side said: “We are all with you @jennihermoso and all the players in the Spanish team.”

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