More brickbats over scandalous conduct of Spain’s football head | Sunday Observer

More brickbats over scandalous conduct of Spain’s football head

10 September, 2023
Luis Rubiales

Spain’s men’s players have condemned the “unacceptable behaviour” of federation president Luis Rubiales.s

Rubiales, 46, has been widely criticised after he kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s Women’s World Cup final win last month.

Rubiales has repeatedly refused to resign over the kiss, which Hermoso said was not consensual.

The men’s side have expressed their “regret and solidarity with the players whose success has been tarnished”.

“We want to reject what we consider unacceptable behaviour on the part of Mr Rubiales, who has not lived up to the institution he represents,” said forward Alvaro Morata in a statement on behalf of the Spain squad.

“We firmly and unequivocally stand on the side of the values that this sport represents.

“Spanish football must be a driving force for respect, inspiration, inclusion, and diversity and must set an example with its behaviour both on and off the field.”

Luis de la Fuente, head coach of the men’s team, last week asked for “forgiveness” after initially applauding a speech in which Rubiales said he would not resign.

After Spain’s 1-0 victory over England at Sydney’s Stadium Australia on 20 August, Rubiales also grabbed his crotch while celebrating in the VIP area, with Queen Letizia of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter standing nearby.

He has been provisionally suspended by world governing body Fifa and Spain’s national sports tribunal (TAD) has opened a misconduct case against him.

On 1 September, Rubiales acknowledged he had “made mistakes” but repeated his belief that the kiss was consensual.

He added: “I will continue to defend myself to prove the truth.”

After calling a press conference, Morata read out the statement alongside fellow senior players Marco Asensio, Cesar Azpilicueta and Rodri.

“We want to convey, once again, our pride and heartfelt congratulations to the women’s national team for winning the World Cup in Sydney,” he said.

“It’s a historic milestone filled with significance that will mark a before and after in Spanish women’s football, inspiring countless women with an invaluable triumph.

“Therefore, we want to express our regret and solidarity with the players whose success has been tarnished.”

Spain’s squad have gathered for a training camp before Euro 2024 qualifying matches against Georgia on Friday and Cyprus on Tuesday, 12 September.

“We would like to focus on sporting matters from now on, considering the importance of the challenges ahead,” added Morata.

(BBC Sport)