Spain’s World Cup star Jenni Hermoso reveals that she did not consent to kiss as squad refuses to play

Spanish World Cup star Jenni Hermoso has said she did not consent to being kissed by football president Luis Rubiales following the women’s World Cup final, as all 23 of the squad’s players sign a statement refusing to play until he is sacked.

Members of the national men’s and women’s teams said overnight that they would not play any matches for the country until Rubiales had been removed from his job after he kissed Hermoso on the lips after Spain’s World Cup victory.

“I want to clarify, that at no time did I consent to the kiss,” Hermoso said. “I don’t tolerate that my word is questioned, much less that words are invented that I haven’t said.’

Rubiales had been expected to resign on Friday but instead began a long-winded rant in which he claimed he was the subject of a “witch-hunt”, shouting he would not resign four times.

His behaviour was also criticised in the box after he appeared to grab his crotch while watching from the royal box, next to the Spanish Queen Letizia and her daughter.

Camera IconSpanish soccer president Luis Rubiales has refused to resign. Credit: AP

After his failure to step down, the Spanish Government has started legal proceedings in a bid to have the 46-year-old suspended.

Victor Francos, head of the government’s National Sports Council, said the Government sees this as the “MeToo of Spanish football”.

“The Government begins today the procedures so that Mr Rubiales has to give explanations before the Administrative Court of Sport and, if the TAD is willing, we will suspend Mr Rubiales in his functions,” he said.

It is expected a court hearing will take place on Monday.

The football boss claimed the kiss was “consensual”.

“‘It was a spontaneous kiss. Mutual, euphoric and consensual. That’s the key,” he said. “A consensual ‘peck’ is enough to get me out of here?”

But Hermoso’s teammates and other Spanish football stars did not agree.

Viral images showed the president with his hand on the back of Hermoso’s head as he kissed her on the lips.

Asked about the moment on Spanish TV afterwards, Hermoso said: “I did not like it.”

A total of 81 players signed a joint statement sent via their FUTPRO union demanding the removal of the federation leadership and refusing to play for the national team until Rubiales has gone.

Rubiales has been under pressure to resign for the incident, while also seeming to grab his crotch near the Spanish queen and her 16-year-old daughter.

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