Luis Rubiales, on Tuesday at Moncloa. JUAN MEDINA (REUTERS)
The president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, is facing the most delicate moment of his mandate. Although the controversy has accompanied him since he took office in May 2018, nothing has put him as against the ropes as the non-consensual kiss that he gave the women’s team player Jenni Hermoso on the mouth at the celebrations for the title achieved in Australia and New Zealand. If the highest president of Spanish football does not resign in the next few hours, if the federation itself does not use its mechanisms to remove him from office, the Spanish Executive will take action. This has been stated in recent days by some members of the Government and this was confirmed on Thursday by the acting Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños. The executive led by Pedro Sánchez, he explained, awaits events, “but if these events do not occur and do not occur, the Government will act.”
In an attention to journalists on the occasion of his trip to Paris to participate in the acts of homage to La Nueve, Minister Bolaños has pronounced himself in this way before the extraordinary Assembly convened by the RFEF to deal with the case. Bolaños also referred to the statements of the acting president himself, Pedro Sánchez, in which he directly suggested Rubiales’ resignation. Likewise, he has taken advantage of this issue to highlight the “change” in Spanish society in recent years: “Spanish society already finds it intolerable that there is macho behavior, that a woman is kissed without her consent.” For this reason, he has claimed the “pride” of Spanish society that “does not tolerate macho behavior and is ashamed when the behaviors that were seen that day occur.”
In addition to Bolaños, the acting Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, also spoke on Thursday, joining the criticism of Rubiales and describing the fact as “unpresentable”. Montero expressed her wish that the social mobilization that she has generated serve to adopt protocols by the federations aimed at avoiding this type of behavior in the future. And, “if they do occur, act quickly and forcefully and, above all, trying to comfort the only victim here, which is Jenni,” she said in an interview on TVE. Regarding the actions of the Government, Montero assured that the Executive has felt “challenged from the first day”, but she has specified that “the competition is what it is”.
The acting minister also shares that Luis Rubiales’ apologies were “insufficient” and she was convinced that issues like this “cannot go unpunished.”
In the same way, the acting Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, showed her support for the player Jenni Hermoso after the athlete asked the federation this Wednesday, through the Futpro union, to adopt “exemplary measures”. “She is not alone. She only is yes ”, the minister assured. “One of the central elements of the Rubiales case is the impunity with which, apparently, he has been behaving like this for a long time. That is one of the most important things that feminism has brought us. The silence is over. No more normalizing violence against women”, added the Acting Minister for Social Rights, Ione Belarra.
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