OVIEDO, Spain – A Spanish judge issued a restraining order on Friday banning the former head of Spain’s football federation Luis Rubiales from going near Jennifer Hermoso, the player he kissed, or contacting her in any way.
Earlier Friday, he gave a 50-minute testimony to a Spanish court over charges of sexual aggression and coercion. In his testimony, he insisted the kiss was consensual and he did not pressure Hermoso.
The criminal proceedings started after he kissed Hermoso on the lips after Spain’s women’s team won the World Cup.
After he publicly refused to apologize or admit any wrongdoing, Hermoso moved to press criminal charges. Not only did she say she felt like a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist action, but she alleged that Rubiales harassed her and those close to her to say she wanted the kiss.
After his testimony, lawyer Carla Vall said that her client Hermoso was impacted “by this humiliating act that tarnished such an important victory.”
Rubiales did not make any public statements.
Three weeks after the kiss, Rubiales announced he would step down from his post permanently, although he was already suspended by FIFA. The coach of the women’s team, Jorge Vilda, who applauded Rubiales, was also fired.
However, dozens of Spain’s top female players have called for more changes.
Long before the kiss scandal, they had been complaining that their conditions were terrible. Several top players even refused to play in the 2023 World Cup.
But after Rubiales gave his defiant speech berating feminists and taking credit for the World Cup victory, around 80 of Spain’s top female players said they refused to play for team Spain under the current leadership.
On Friday, 39 top players announced the reforms have been insufficient and that they will continue striking.
“We need consensus, courage, and leadership,” said one of Spain’s top players Alexia Putellas. “We’ve seen the severe situation within the Spanish football federation, and the changes we are demanding is so that no woman … has to live through this type of situation of lack of respect and abuse.” (Anadolu)