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Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez addresses Spain’s World Cup celebration fiasco involving Rubiales

RFEF President Luis Rubiales is currently facing significant pressure from prime minister Pedro Sanchez to step down from his role after he kissed Spain’s star forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez welcomed the triumphant Spain team after their historic World Cup victory in Australia and also commented on Rubiales’ actions.

When greeting all the players and staff, there was a distinct lack of warmth in Sanchez’s reception of Rubiales. While Rubiales had issued a form of apology on Monday night, he did not participate in the public celebration upon their return to Madrid.

Sanchez addressed the issue during a press event with the players in attendance.

“First of all, the players, and they will allow me a smile, have done everything to win.·

“But it is true that there has been behavior, in this case, like that of Mr. Rubiales, which, if they show anything is that in our country we have a long way to go in terms of equality, respect and the equalization of rights between women and men. That is why, finally, what we saw was an unacceptable gesture. I also believe that the apologies that Mr. Rubiales has given are not enough and I even believe that they are not adequate. And therefore Mr. Rubiales has to continue taking steps,” Sanchez said, as covered by Relevo.

“In any case, they will allow me to focus on the good part of all this, the success of the players, who are world champions, which has been preceded by similar victories in the under-17s and under-20s that show that we have great athletes. That women’s football and women’s sports in our country have strength and vigor and greater support and recognition.”

Sanchez gives a strong-worded speech condemning Rubiales actions

Sanchez emphasized that although he lacks the authority to determine Rubiales’ future, he expressed his desire for more substantial measures.

“The Spanish Football Federation, its structure, does not belong to the structure or the organizational chart of the Government of Spain. The current president is elected and dismissed from the federation by his associates, but I have said in my first speech that it seems to us that they are [his apologies] are insufficient and Mr. Rubiales has to take more steps to clarify clearly unacceptable behavior, which does not connect with the majority sentiment of the public, which is clearly committed to equality between men and women. We have seen his statements of request for apologies and I think they are insufficient. It has to be much clearer and more forceful in the request for apologies.”

Sanchez is the most recent individual to join the call for additional apologies or measures, joining the likes of Minister for Culture and Sport Miquel Iceta and Vice-President Yolanda Diaz, who have characterized the incident as an instance of sexual violence.

The possibility of Rubiales weathering the storm of public opinion is diminishing, even though he has managed to navigate through previous controversies. However, this is the first instance where politicians have rallied against him, and it might prove to be the decisive factor that shifts the balance against him.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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