In Madrid on Sunday, many individuals protested against Luis Rubiales as the repercussions of his kissing controversy persist.
Demonstrators in the Spanish capital marched in solidarity with Jenni Hermoso, nine days following an incident wherein Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), kissed the Spanish forward without her consent during the Women’s World Cup final medal ceremony.
During the protest, organized by the feminist movement Comision8M, people carried banners showing messages such as “Rubiales step down,” “Sports are for everyone, regardless of gender,” and “Eliminate macho-driven federations.”
In light of his refusal to step down during an extraordinary press conference on Friday, Rubiales has been handed a 90-day suspension by FIFA.
The Spanish government has requested Spain’s Sports Tribunal (TAD) to suspend Rubiales, while the RFEF issued a threat of legal action against Hermoso, responding to Rubiales’ assertion that she started the kiss.
On Monday, it was revealed that Rubiales’ mother had initiated a hunger strike at a church in Motril due to what she characterized as an “inhuman pursuit” against her son.
Jorge Vilda, the coach of the Spanish women’s national team and a close associate of Rubiales, eventually criticized Rubiales’ conduct. However, this came only after his entire coaching staff resigned and 81 players withdrew their availability to represent Spain until changes are instituted.
These recent developments have been likened to Spain’s version of the MeToo movement, with many individuals seeing an opportunity to combat institutional sexism and machismo within the nation’s sporting and public establishments.