By Jennifer Popplewell •
Updated: 07 Dec 2023 • 14:52
How the mighty has fallen, Rubiales with Pedro Sanchez and Gianni Infantino
Credit: La Moncloa flickr
Disgraced former Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales has once again been accused of acting inappropriately towards female football players.
Football Association chairwoman Debbie Hewitt claims that the ex-RFEF president “cupped and stroked” England star Laura Coombs’ face, before his ‘non-consensual kiss’ on Spanish player, Jenni Hermoso, after the World Cup final earlier this year. Hewitt then said that when the Spanish players went to accept their medals, Rubiales was “tactile” as he kissed their cheeks and “rubbed some on their back, tapped one on her bottom, grabbed some by their arm, lifted several off their feet, and one was hoisted twice”.
Luis Rubiales has vehemently denied these accusations, and claims he’s being made out to be ‘some sort of creep’.
Hewitt’s comments were submitted to FIFA as they investigated Rubiales because of the infamous kiss that sparked outrage across the football world. However, the president refused to apologise or resign from his post at the RFEF.
In October, world governing body FIFA imposed a three year ban from all football activities on Rubiales over his conduct at the match, but after publishing its findings into the case, now states that it has been tempted to impose a more severe sanction. The FIFA disciplinary committee said Rubiales had acted with “a sense of complete impunity” at the game on August 20, 2023.
In a response that was published by FIFA, Rubiales has hit back at these critics, stating that “Ms. Hewitt, hugged several players even after clearly noticing that they were extending their hands to receive a handshake, which applying the same logic she used, could be understood as a forceful non consensual physical contact.”
The former football chief has vowed to appeal the suspension from FIFA, even though they have stated in their ruling that the disgraced official could have been given an even more severe sanction. He may also face criminal prosecution as the incident is currently being investigated by a Spanish judge.
So how has this affected the perception of women’s football? Carl Greaves, a coach of eight years of a local women’s football team told Euro Weekly News that “it changes nothing for me, I know how to behave with a woman, but hopefully it shines a light on all of those who are abusing their position of power”. Semi professional football player, Zander Joseph, also stated that “anybody who is angry about this, is probably doing the same thing, it’s clear he was in the wrong”. Another man, who does not wish to be named, stated to EWN that this was a clear example of “feminism gone too far” and that all men should now “watch out”.
Either way, for now the verdict has been given, and perhaps an even more grave one may await Mr Rubiales.
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Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.
I am a woman and almost 86. Whinging, whinging, whinging!! What is wrong with women today? In the end men will become completely emasculated and then you will hear these same women moaning about that. Get a life. If you don’t like something, remonstrate about it AT THE TIME.
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