The footballing world is rallying behind Gini Hermoso to leave Luis Rubiales looking increasingly isolated


Jorge Vilda, coach of Spain’s World Cup-winning women’s team, on Saturday criticized the “inappropriate” behavior of suspended FIFA president Luis Rubiales, whose forced kiss of Jennifer Hermoso in the World Cup final last Sunday sparked outrage in world football. .

“I am deeply sorry that the victory of Spanish women’s football has been damaged by the inappropriate behavior of our supreme captain so far, Luis Rubiales, which he himself admitted,” Filda said Saturday in a statement widely reported by the media. Spanish media.

A week ago, the incident, watched by millions of viewers around the world, happened when Hermoso collected her medal after winning the Women’s World Cup.

Rubiales’ refusal to resign afterwards – even as he faced heavy criticism – sparked a crisis in Spanish football, with FIFA banning him for 90 days and every player and coach in the Spanish women’s national team collectively resigning, except for coach Vilda.

Rubiales says the kiss was consensual, and the federation issued two statements defending him, one of which has since been deleted, and threatened legal action against Hermoso, accusing her of spreading “lies”.

Hermoso said the kiss was unwanted and that she and the entire World Cup-winning team refused to play for the national team while Rubiales remained president.

“I did not like this incident,” she wrote in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I felt vulnerable and a victim of out-of-place sexual antics driven by impulses without any consent on my part.”

As the row dragged on into the weekend, several soccer teams, male and female, showed their support for Hermoso at their matches – some carrying T-shirts, some wearing bracelets, some carrying banners.

AC Milan and Atletico Madrid players paid tribute to Hermoso at the pre-season Women’s Cup final in Madrid, standing together holding a banner reading “With you Jennifer Hermoso” as the Spanish star watched the match from the stands.

Atletico Madrid shows their support for Hermoso.

In the United States, the Houston Dash displayed a banner reading “Contigo Jenni”, which means “With You, Jenni”, and wore white wristbands with the same message during an NWSL game.

Players from KS Current, Orlando Pride and San Diego Wave – including Alex Morgan – have worn similar wristbands.

It was a visual representation of the global solidarity that marked women’s football this week.

San Diego Wave shows support for Jenny Hermoso.

Every member of Spain’s women’s coaching staff, with the exception of Vilda, resigned on Saturday, issuing a joint statement saying Rubiales’ interpretation “does not in any way reflect what Jenny Hermoso felt, who has openly said she felt she was.” victim of aggression.”

The coaches also said they were directed to attend the meeting where Rubiales announced his intention to stay on, and that “several women on the coaching staff were asked to sit in the front row” in an attempt to give the impression that they had supported the beleaguered president.

Their collective resignation preceded those of 23 members of Spain’s World Cup-winning squad, including Hermoso, and nearly 50 other professional soccer players who said they would not play for the national team again until Rubiales was sacked. The next match for La Roja’s national team will take place on September 22, after less than a month.

This solidarity extended to men’s football as well, with Cadiz and Sevilla both showing their support for Hermoso in their matches on Saturday, while Spanish football icon Xavi condemned Rubiales’ behaviour.

Cádiz placed a banner reading “Todos Somos Jenni (We are all Jenni)” on the pitch, and its image was later reposted on X by Spain’s acting second deputy prime minister, Yolanda Díaz, calling for Rubiales to resign. .

Meanwhile, Sevilla players wore T-shirts bearing the hashtag “SeAcabó”, which means “it’s over”, in reference to Rubiales’ tenure at the federation.

Sevilla players wear T-shirts in support of Jennifer Hermoso.

Barcelona coach Xavi said he “condemns the behavior” of Rubiales and gives his “unconditional support to Jennifer Hermoso and the players” on Saturday, according to Reuters.

He added, “I regret that people do not talk about the historic achievement of winning the World Cup.”

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