Jenni Hermoso ‘Didn’t Consent’ to Luis Rubiales Kiss as Spain Women’s Football Team Refuse to Play

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Rubiales refused to quit earlier Friday, fuelling anger among players and government ministers who decried his actions as unacceptable misogynist behaviour.

Spanish Women’s World Cup winning midfielder Jenni Hermoso said Friday she did not consent to be kissed by the country’s football federation president Luis Rubiales – as 81 players said they will not play any matches for the women’s national team until he is removed from his post.

Rubiales has refused to resign after kissing Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in Sydney, Australia.

The 46-year-old said in a defiant speech earlier Friday that his kiss on the player’s lips was “mutual, euphoric, and consensual” and that she had said “OK” when he asked her if he could give her “a peck”.

He also asserted that “she was the one who lifted me in her arms and brought me close to her body”.

But Hermoso, who hit back strongly against his claims later Friday, said in a statement released by player’s union FUTRO: “I want to clarify that at no time did I consent to the kiss that he gave me and in no case did I seek to lift up the president”.

“I do not tolerate my word being questioned and much less that they invent words that I did not say,” she added.

In a social media post Friday, she also said: “I felt vulnerable and a victim of aggression. I was simply not respected.” She added that she was put “under continuous pressure” to help with a “statement that could justify” Rubiales’ actions.

Hermoso and 80 other players said in the statement by FUTPRO that they would not accept an international call-up “if the current leadership continues” at the Spanish football federation (RFEF).

The statement was signed by a host of players, including the 23 World Cup winners. FUTPRO said every player signing the statement was taking a stand.

“After all that happened during the medal ceremony at the Women’s World Cup, we wish to declare that all the players signing this document will not return to a national team squad if the current leadership continues.”

RFEF has questioned Hermoso’s version of events. It provided four images of her embrace with Rubiales, with an analysis of each, which it claims demonstrates she applied force to lift Rubiales’ feet off the ground. “The evidence is conclusive. Mr President has not lied,” it said.

The federation added: “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.

“The RFEF and the President, given the seriousness of the content of the press release from the FUTPRO union, will initiate the corresponding legal actions.”

The federation also said that, if selected, players have “an obligation” to play for the national team.

Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias has also said he will not play for the men's national team again while Rubiales is in charge.