World Cup kiss row latest: 11 members of Spain’s staff resign as Rubiales vows to defend himself


World Cup kiss row latest: 11 members of Spain's staff resign as Rubiales vows to defend himself

Key points
    Luis Rubiales suspended by FIFA after kissing Spain’s Jenni Hermoso during the Women’s World Cup medal ceremonyHead of Spanish football says he will maintain his innocenceMembers of Spain’s footballing staff resign resign in protestWho said what in World Cup kiss row
    Live reporting by Katie Williams

19:35:01 Men’s team coach now says Rubiales was ‘wrong’ – one day after applauding him

Spanish men’s team manager Luis de la Fuente has branded Luis Rubiales’ actions as “wrong” – some 24 hours after he was seen applauding the football chief for saying he would not resign.

De la Fuente said Rubiales “did not respect the minimum protocol for such [World Cup] celebrations”.

He said the controversial kiss was “not edifying or appropriate for a person who was representing all of Spanish football”.

De la Fuente called for the “unpleasant episode” to come to an end “as soon as possible”, adding that he “regrets” that the row has taken away from an “unprecedented feat achieved by Spanish women’s football”.

19:14:15 Spanish women’s league president says this is the end of Rubiales’ career

The president of Spain’s women’s league said she believes the saga will mark the end of Luis Rubiales’ football career.

Beatriz Alvarez’s league is among several organisations to file official complaints against Rubiales to the Spanish government this week.

“Luis Rubiales is finished. He has dug his own grave with his acts and his words,” she said.

“Whether it is because of the action of FIFA or the Spanish government, I am sure that Luis Rubiales won’t spend another minute as president of the Spanish federation.” 

18:55:01 ‘We are with you Jenni’: Hermoso’s team pay tribute before match

Players from Jenni Hermoso’s club Pachucha and opposition Juarez came together in a show of solidarity with the midfielder amid the Women’s World Cup kiss fallout.

The two teams held up a banner saying “Estamos Contigo Jenni”, which translates to “we are with you Jenni”, before the start of the match in Ciudad Juarez which ended 1-1.

As we’ve been reporting, Hermoso says the kiss wasn’t mutual, but Luis Rubiales has accused her of lying.

18:34:19 Who is Jenni Hermoso?

Support has poured in for one of Spain’s star players, Jenni Hermoso, after she said Luis Rubiales kissed her without her consent.

The 33-year-old forward scored three goals during this year’s Women’s World Cup and has represented her country at several other international tournaments.

She was brought up through the ranks in Atletico Madrid, having started at their youth club, and has also played for Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona.

Hermoso currently plays for Mexican club CF Pachucha, where she’s been since 2022.

She first pulled on a Spain shirt at a senior level in 2012, and went on to become the top goal scorer for the women’s team. 

Hermoso was also part of the first team in the history of the club to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

18:10:01 Football fans give views on whether Rubiales should stay or go

Football fans in England and Spain have been telling Sky News their views on whether Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales should resign – with most saying he should go.

One said his actions were “horrific”.

Another said he should resign “regardless of whether there was consent or not”.

Watch the full video here…

17:54:48 What else did Rubiales do at Women’s World Cup final?

Luis Rubiales’ decision to grab and kiss Jenni Hermoso on the lips during last weekend’s medal ceremony has been at the centre of the controversy over the past week.

But the Spanish football chief was also criticised for grabbing his crotch in a lewd victory gesture after the women’s team claimed victory over England’s Lionesses.

Queen Letizia of Spain and 16-year old Princess Sofia were standing nearby during his aggressive celebration.

Rubiales has offered an apology for the crotch grab, saying it was in a moment of “euphoria” and directed toward head coach Jorge Vilda on the field.

17:39:37 ‘One of the most embarrassing moments for Spanish sport’

The controversy surrounding Luis Rubiales’ behaviour is “one of the most embarrassing moments for Spanish sport”, a journalist has said.

Speaking to Sky News after 11 coaching and technical staff across Spanish football resigned in the wake of the row, Laia Cervello, Barcelona correspondent for The Athletic, said Rubiales and head women’s team coach Jorge Vilda are now “alone” in their views.

She said it was “worrying” that the staff said in a statement that they felt “forced” to be front row for a speech by Lubiales at a meeting of the Spanish football federation’s general assembly yesterday, where he again denied any wrongdoing.

Ms Cervello said she agreed with comments from the Victor Francos Diaz, president of the Spanish government’s High Council of Sport, who said it should be Spanish football’s “Me Too movement”.

“This is nothing new, players have been reporting this kind of situation for a long time,” she said.

“Everybody is in the same boat except for two people [Rubiales and Vilda]. It’s important to be on [the players’] side in one of the most embarrassing moments for Spanish sport.”

Ms Cervello said it was “sad” that the controversy has had to happen on the world’s stage “to make people understand”.

The moment will “forever change” women’s football, she said, adding it could be “the beginning of something better”.

17:23:13 Protests outside Spanish Football Federation HQ

Dozens of protesters – mostly women – protested outside the Spanish Football Federation headquarters in Madrid last night as Luis Rubiales defiantly refused to step down.

“Jenni, sister, here is your pack,” and “Rubiales you are offside” they chanted, holding up red cards.

One protester, 39-year-old Alma Dona, said women’s football “should have more support” and “men and women should be equally respected”.

Demonstrations calling for Rubiales’ resignation have also been taking place in Madrid, Santander and Logrono today.

17:05:06 Barcelona head coach brands Rubiales’ actions ‘unacceptable’

FC Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has shown his “unconditional support” to Jenni Hermoso as the row over the Women’s World Cup kiss intensifies.

Asked about the controversy today, Hernandez said he “condemns the behaviour” of the Spanish football chief.

He expressed his “feelings of shame and sadness” that the row has overshadowed the victory of the Spanish women’s team.

“Such a historic feat for our sport, and instead we are talking about this intolerable behaviour.”

16:48:38 What has Rubiales said about the kiss?

By sports correspondent Rob Harris

The embattled Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales used his federation to accuse World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso of lying by saying she did not consent to being kissed by him.

A defiant statement by the 46-year-old came in the early hours of this morning amid mounting pressure from within Spanish football and the government for him to resign.

It was thought Rubiales would step down on Friday – before going on the attack against his accusers in a speech at a federation assembly.

There, Rubiales claimed the kiss was “mutual” and “with consent”. He also insisted he was the victim of a witch hunt by “false feminists” after rapidly repeating “I won’t resign” four times.

His remarks sparked an outcry from Hermoso and her teammates who vowed not to play for their country again – days after winning the World Cup for the first time.

The 33-year-old forward and key contributor toSpain’s victory said “in no moment” did she consent to the kiss.

In the version of events Rubiales gave to the federation assembly, he said Hermoso had lifted him up in celebration and he asked her for “a little kiss?” and she said yes.

“The kiss was the same I could give one of my daughters.”

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