21 of the 23 Spanish players consider the changes “insufficient” for a return to the selection

La Roja players, during the Women's World Cup final, August 20, 2023, at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

Almost all of the Spanish world champions estimated, Friday September 15 in a press release, that the changes made at the head of the federation after the forced kiss scandal they were not “not sufficient” to bring them back to the selection.

“The changes that have taken place are not enough for players to feel in a safe place, where women are respected, where we bet on women’s football and where we can give the best of ourselves”write 21 of the 23 world champions in a press release, distributed in particular by the holder of the Women’s Golden Ball, Alexia Putellas.

“What makes us most proud is to wear the jersey of our selection”but “We believe that the time has come to fight to show that these practices have no place in our football and in our society” And “that the current structure needs change”they add in this text, signed by 39 players in total. “We are doing this so that future generations can experience a much more egalitarian football that lives up to what we deserve”they explain again.

In detail, the players of La Roja demand in particular the “restructuring of the women’s football organization chart” And “from the office of the presidency and the general secretariat” as well as “the resignation of the president” interim member of the federation (RFEF), Pedro Rocha Junco. “The changes requested from the RFEF are based on zero tolerance towards people who, within the RFEF, have had, incited, hidden or applauded attitudes that go against the dignity of women”they insist.

Partly eclipsing the world coronation of the women’s Roja in Sydney on August 20the forced kiss of the president of the federation, Luis Rubiales, to number 10, Jennifer Hermoso, during the medal ceremony, plunged Spanish football into chaos and triggered a wave of national indignation – up to the highest level of government – and international.

Also read the analysis: Article reserved for our subscribers The Rubiales affair, symbol of football lagging behind feminist struggles in Spain

Complaint by Jenni Hermoso

The announcement of the world champions took place while the federation had summoned the press at 4 p.m. for the presentation by the new coach, Montse Tomé, of her list of players for the Nations League matches on September 22 and 26.

The Spanish football authorities had nevertheless displayed their optimism in recent days regarding a return of the world champions, highlighting Luis Rubiales’ resignation on Sunday46, and the dismissal last week of the coach of the women’s team, Jorge Vilda, close to Rubiales and whose methods were contested.

Refusing at first to resign for “a little kiss agreed to”Luis Rubiales attacked, during a resounding speech on August 25, a supposed “false feminism” and argued that he had obtained permission from the player before kissing her. A version denied by Jenni Hermoso, who said she “felt vulnerable and victim (…) of an impulsive and sexist act, inappropriate and without any consent of [sa] go “. The player filed a complaint on September 6.

Since a recent reform of the Spanish penal code, a non-consensual kiss can be considered ault, a criminal category bringing together all types of violence. The penalties incurred range from a fine to four years in prison.


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Prosecuted for “ ault” following Jenni Hermoso’s complaint, the former boss of Spanish football responded to these accusations before a judge on Friday for the first time. At the end of the hearing, which was held behind closed doors, the magistrate in charge of the investigation, Francisco de Jorge, prohibited Luis Rubiales from coming within 200 meters of Jenni Hermoso and come into contact with the attacker.

Coming and leaving on foot, in the company of his lawyer, he made no statement to the dozens of journalists present. According to a source close to the prosecution, he denied the accusations before the judge, during a closed hearing, and reiterated that this kiss was consensual.

The World with AFP

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