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Spain’s FA announce legal action over Jenni Hermoso’s World Cup kiss comments | CBC sports

The Spanish Football Federation stood by its president Luis Rubiales on Saturday, even as the latter was heavily criticized for grabbing star player Jenni Hermoso by the head and kissing her on the lips after Spain won the Women’s World Cup.

In a statement released in the early hours of the morning, the federation said it would take legal action to defend Rubiales, saying it would show Hermoso or people speaking for her had lies about what happened.

The statement on the Royal Spanish Football Federation’s website didn’t say what the legal action would consist of.

Rubiales on Friday refused to step down as RFEF chief over his actions last Sunday in Sydney. He tried to defend his behavior, calling the kiss “spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consensual.”

Hermoso said she didn’t consent to the kiss and felt “vulnerable and a victim of aggression.”

She 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.” “I certainly wasn’t trying to lift the President.”

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Federation fights ‘lies’

In its statement early on Saturday, the federation stated: “The RFEF and the President will take appropriate legal action given the seriousness of the content of Futpro Union’s 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.

Reuters was unable to immediately phone an official from the FUTPRO union for comment.

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 on Friday “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 spearheaded legislative reforms in areas including equal pay, abortion, sex work and transgender rights.

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