Spain’s women’s soccer team said they will not play any games until the president of their country’s soccer federation leaves his post in a statement Friday.
Jenni Hermoso, a player for the Spanish national team, said she did not want to be kissed by Spain FA president Luis Rubiales during celebrations after winning the World Cup in the statement released by her and co-signed by her teammates via a union, according to multiple sources. According to the same outlets, Rubiales has said the kiss was consensual.
“I do not tolerate it when my word is put into doubt and less so when words that I have not said are invented,” Hermoso wrote in the statement, according to Reuters.
This statement comes amid a refusal by Rubiales to step down. He reportedly defended himself Friday at an emergency meeting of the country’s federation.
“I won’t resign,” Rubiales said four times in a row at the meeting, to an audience which was “overwhelmingly male” according to The Associated Press.
He added that the backlash is a result of a witch hunt by “false feminists.”
Hermoso’s teammates are coming to Hermoso’s defense, with several expressing their disdain over the situation on X.
“This is unacceptable,” Alexia Putellas reportedly wrote on X, notes the AP. “I’m with you, my teammate, Jenni Hermoso.”
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