Spain star Jenni Hermoso has released a statement contradicting Spain FA chief Luis Rubiales’ version of events over a post-match kiss.
In a document, signed by a total of 81 players, all of the World Cup-winning squad have threatened to resign if the Spanish football association president remains in his post.
RFEF president Rubiales has come under serious pressure to step down from his role after he was seen kissing the World Cup winner on the lips on live TV during the trophy presentation.
Rubiales was expected to resign this morning, but instead told a general assembly called to address the matter that he was not going to leave his position.
The managers of both Spain’s men’s and women’s teams applauded his bizarre on-stage rant about ‘false feminism’.
“A consensual ‘peck’ is enough to get me out of here? I will fight until the end,” he said.
But now, Hermoso – who was reported at the time to say she did ‘not want’ the kiss – has now released a statement, clarifying that she never consented to the Spain chief kissing her.
The statement read: “I want to clarify that, as seen in the images, at no time did I consent to the kiss he planted on me and, of course, in no way did I seek to lift up the president.
“I do not tolerate my word being questioned and let alone invent words I didn’t say.”
All the signatories – including those that won their first ever World Cup last weekend – state that they will not return to the national team as long as the current leaders continue.
“We want to end this statement, asking for real changes, both sporting and structural, that help the Absolute Selection to continue growing, to be able to transfer this great success to later generations,” it continued.
“We are filled with sadness that such an unacceptable fact is managing to understand the greatest sporting success of Spanish women’s football.
“After everything that happened during the Women’s World Cup, we want to state that all the players who sign this document will not return to a call for the National Team if the current leaders continue.”
In comments given to AFP the day after the final by the Spanish FA regarding the podium kiss, Hermoso is quoted saying: “It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings.
“The president and I have a great relationship, his behaviour with all of us has been outstanding and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude.”
However, Hermoso has now denied that.
The Spanish FA’s decision to keep Rubiales in his position has led to wide spread uproar, with England, United States and football pundits past and present criticising them.
Current England star Jess Carter told ITV Rubiales’ conduct, both during and after the incident was ‘one of the most disrespectful things she’s ever seen’.
Meanwhile, former talkSPORT Breakfast host and current TNT Sport pundit Laura Woods said: “Luis Rubiales letting his mask slip while The World was watching SHOULD be the final warning in a long & exhausted list of warnings that have been ignored.
“A microscopic look into The Spanish FA’s behaviour towards & treatment of The Women’s National Team & its failure to listen to the 15 that protested against their coach Jorge Vilda is embarrassingly overdue.”