Infantino says Rubiales kiss spoiled Spain’s win; Hermoso critical of ‘controlling culture’

September 1 – FIFA President Gianni Infantino says Luis Rubiales “spoiled” the Spanish team’s celebrations at the Women’s World Cup by kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips.

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Spanish federation (RFEF) chief Rubiales and suspended him from all soccer-related activities for three months

Rubiales has refused to quit despite mounting criticism and calls for his resignation.

“The well-deserved celebrations for these magnificent champions were spoiled by what happened after the final whistle,” Infantino, who was at the presentation, wrote on Instagram on Thursday.

“And what continued to happen in the following days. This should never have happened. FIFA’s disciplinary bodies immediately assumed their responsibility and took the necessary actions.

“The disciplinary proceedings will continue their legitimate course. On our side, we should continue to focus on how to further support women and women’s football in future, both on and off the pitch.”

Rubiales, who insists the kiss was consensual, is reported to have sent a new video to FIFA purporting to show Hermoso laughing as he continues to desperately cling to power.

In the video, Hermoso can be seen smiling as she shows the image while some of her teammates chant ‘beso’, meaning kiss, and ‘presi’, referring to the FA president Rubiales.

A member of Rubiales’ camp told Britain’s Daily Mail that they believed the video to be “gold dust” in his defence against both FIFA’s investigation into his conduct and any potential criminal charge of sexual assault, which the Spanish authorities are exploring.

However, Hermoso continues to insist the kiss was not consensual.

“I have been under continuous pressure to come up with a statement that could justify the act of Mr Luis Rubiales,” Hermoso said in a statement on Twitter. “Not only that, but in different ways and through different people, the RFEF has pressured those around me (family, friends, colleagues, etc.) to give testimony that had little or nothing to do with my feelings.

“As the world champion national team we do not deserve such a manipulative, hostile and controlling culture. I want to reinforce the position I took from the beginning, considering that I do not have to support the person who has committed this action against my will, without respecting me, at a historic moment for me and for women’s sport.”

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