“The evidence is conclusive,” the federation stated. “The president did not lie.”
In a statement from the players’ union Futpro, which represents 33-year-old Hermoso, she allegedly stated that she did not try to lift the president while they were embracing on the podium.
The RFEF provided four images of the embrace between Hermoso and Rubiales in their statement, offering an analysis of each photo to argue that the player exerted force to lift Rubiales off the ground.
In their statement, the Spanish Football Federation affirmed, “The RFEF and the President will demonstrate each of the lies that are being spread by someone on behalf of the player or, if applicable, by the player herself.”
“Given the gravity of the content in Futpro’s statement, the RFEF and the President will initiate the corresponding legal actions,” added the sports entity.
The federation further stated that if selected, players have an “obligation” to play for the national team – 81 players have declared that they will not represent Spain until Rubiales is removed from his position.
Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias also stated that he will not play for the men’s national team while Rubiales remains in charge.
The federation claims to have tried to contact Hermoso, who is Spain’s all-time leading female scorer with 51 goals in 101 games, “without success in all attempts.”
Rubiales’ behavior at the Women’s World Cup final has drawn international criticism, with Spanish government ministers demanding his resignation.
The 46-year-old official watched Spain’s 1-0 victory over England from the VIP area of the multi-purpose Stadium Australia in Sydney.
Upon celebrating the final whistle, he grabbed his crotch, even with Spain’s Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter nearby.
Then came the kiss with Hermoso, who plays football in Mexico for Pachuca, during the presentation ceremony.
Hermoso initially stated on Instagram that she “did not approve” of Rubiales’ actions, but a subsequent statement released on her behalf defended him.
Rubiales apologized for the kiss on Monday (August 21st), but Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said it was “not enough,” and second deputy prime minister Yolanda Diaz joined those calling for his resignation.
On Wednesday, Hermoso said that Futpro would “defend her interests,” and the union stated that the kiss should not go unpunished.
On Thursday, FIFA, the governing body of world football, announced that it had opened disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales, and the RFEF called for an extraordinary general assembly on Friday where Rubiales was expected to resign – but he insisted on staying in his position.
Although he apologized for grabbing his crotch, he pledged to “fight until the end” and stated that the kiss was “mutual, joyful, and consensual.”
Subsequently, the Spanish government initiated legal proceedings to suspend Rubiales before Hermoso’s and Futpro’s statements on social media triggered the latest response from the RFEF.
Reaction: ‘Your Ego is Bigger than Your Dignity’
Rubiales’ defiant stance has been met with widespread condemnation.
Beatriz Alvarez, president of the Liga F, Spain’s top women’s league, stated, “Your ego is bigger than your dignity and honor.”
“I think more people will join [protest mobilizations against the official], given Luis Rubiales’ lack of determination [to resign], other people are starting to speak out.”
During Friday’s match between Orlando Pride and San Diego Wave in the National Women’s Soccer League of the United States, all the players wore wristbands with the message “Contigo Jenni” [With You, Jenni].
Among them was American forward Alex Morgan, who stated on Friday, “I am disgusted by Luis Rubiales’ public actions. I support Jenni Hermoso and the Spanish players.”
“Winning a World Cup should be one of the best moments of these players’ lives, but instead, it is overshadowed by aggression, misogyny, and failures of the Spanish federation.”