The Spanish FA has launched an internal investigation and activated its sexual violence protocol after Luis Rubiales was suspended.
Rubiales shocked football when he stated in an extraordinary general assembly that he would not resign as RFEF president and offered Spain women’s coach Jorge Vilda a four-year contract.
It came after backlash towards him after kissing Jenni Hermoso at the World Cup final after Spain had beaten England, something Rubiales also insisted was consensual.
Hermoso made a statement of her own insisting that the kiss was against her will and FIFA have since stepped in and suspended the 46-year-old for 90 days.
Having initially threatened Hermoso with legal action, the Spanish FA have now made a statement confirming that the incident will now be investigated over sexual violence.
RFEF protection delegate Maria Dolores Martinez Madrona said: “Our protocol is currently activated and in the midst of investigating the events, thus we demand the utmost respect for the right to privacy and dignity of all individuals involved.
“As the protection delegate for sexual violence, my duty is to adhere to the protocol and safeguard the privacy of those affected by this incident and of the Sexual Violence Advisory Committee.”
Meanwhile, women’s groups are expected to protest in Madrid today as an urgent meeting over the situation takes place at Spanish FA headquarters.
The RFEF had initially threatened Hermoso with legal action.
On Saturday morning, they said: “The evidence is conclusive. Mr President has not lied.
“The RFEF and Mr President will demonstrate each of the lies that are spread either by someone on behalf of the player or, if applicable, by the player herself.”
However, hours later, Rubiales was suspended by FIFA and he and the RFEF were told not to contact Hermoso.
As well as kissing Hermoso, Rubiales also grabbed his crotch as Spain beat England in the company of Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter.
He was also seen parading around the pitch, picking Spanish players up and putting them over his shoulder.
Spain coach Vilda, who himself has come under-fire for applauding Rubiales for not resigning, has now come out and denounced the RFEF chief.
In an official statement, Vilda said: “I regret deeply that the victory of Spanish women’s football has been harmed by the inappropriate behaviour that our until now top leader, Luis Rubiales, has carried out and that he himself has recognised.
“There is no doubt that it is unacceptable and does not reflect at all the principles and values that I defend in my life, in sport in general and in football in particular.
“I condemn without doubt any macho attitude, [which should be] far from an advanced and developed society.
“A clearly undesirable climate has been generated, far from what should have been a great celebration of Spanish sport and women’s sport.
“I reiterate my unwavering commitment to promoting a sport that is a model of equality and respect in our society.”
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