Spain’s Jenni Hermoso receives emotional tribute as she returns to club action on the same day Luis Rubiales announces he will quit
- World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso, 33, was warmly welcomed back to her club
- Pachuca hung a huge banner with her face on it, and gifted her a framed jersey
- Hermoso returned to her club hours after Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales quit
Spanish world champion footballer Jenni Hermoso was welcomed back to her Mexican club with a heartwarming tribute, just hours after Spanish football Chief Luis Rubiales resigned from his post.
Hermoso, 33, went back to Pachuca, one of the oldest clubs in North and South America, for her first match since claiming the World Cup for Spain.
She unveiled a mural in the hallways of the 30,000-seat Hidalgo Stadium while a giant banner showing her playing for both Spanish and Mexican teams, along with the two countries’ flags, flew overhead.
Pachuca fans and players applauded her as she posed for pictures with a framed jersey with her number, 10, on it.
Hermoso was brought under a harsh spotlight minutes after her team won the World Cup for Spain, when the country’s FA president allegedly forcibly kissed her at the final presentation ceremony.
Hermoso was applauded by her fellow teammates at Pachuca
A giant banner was flown in her honour at the Hidalgo Stadium
She was also given a framed jersey with her number, 10, on it
Luis Rubiales (pictured) allegedly forcibly kissed Hermoso during the World Cup final presentation
A prosecutor filed a complaint against Rubiales on Friday for sexual assault and coercion after Hermoso testified and said she did not consent to the full kiss on the mouth, which was shown to millions of fans across the world.
Rubiales consistently claimed that the kiss was ‘mutual’ and ‘consensual’, and has held onto his position for weeks, even in the face is mounting criticism.
But on Sunday, he revealed that he would be stepping down as the president of Spain’s FA amid the ongoing investigations into the kiss.
Rubiales revealed he consulted his three daughters before quitting over the Kissgate scandal, saying they urged him ‘to focus on my dignity and my life’ amid global backlash over him kissing World Cup player Jenni Hermoso.
The defiant Spanish football chief announced his resignation last night, saying ‘I cannot continue my work’, while also vowing to ‘defend his innocence’ in an interview with Piers Morgan.
He said he spoke to his daughters Lucía, Ana and Elena, as well as his father and friends before reaching the decision – which comes after weeks of pressure over the incident following Spain’s World Cup win in August.
‘I spoke with my daughters and they know it is not a question about me. They say I have to focus on my dignity and my life. In this situation now, this is the thing that I have to do,’ he said.
‘Some friends very close to me said, “Luis, you have to focus on your dignity and to continue your life because if not you are going to damage people you love and the sport you love.’
The Spanish FA chief said he spoke to his daughters Lucía, Ana and Elena before deciding to quit
Luis Rubiales was seen kissing Spain’s Jenni Hermoso after the Women’s World Cup final
Rubiales previously revealed his youngest daughter Elena wears his number 17 shirt when playing football
Rubiales has repeatedly referenced his three daughters during the ongoing saga, even initially defending the kiss by comparing the act to him kissing one of them.
‘Everyone there – even some of my family, my daughters – the desire that could have been there in that kiss is exactly the same that could have been as giving a kiss to one of my daughters. No more, no less,’ Rubiales said.
The Spanish FA chief then reportedly pleaded with Hermoso to appear in an apology video with him, allegedly trying to appeal to her by saying ‘my position is at stake, do it for my daughters.’
All three of Rubiales’ girls had been present for his astonishing speech at a meeting of the Spanish FA in which he repeatedly refused to resign from his position shouting ‘no voy a dimitir’.
Rubiales had pointedly addressed his daughters during the dramatic speech, which he used to slam what he called ‘false feminism’.
‘I want to say looking at my three daughters who are there that today they have to learn a lesson about what equality is,’ Rubiales said.
‘You have to differentiate between the truth and the lie, and I am telling the truth. Daughters, learn it, it is a life lesson.
‘You are true feminists, not the false feminism that is out there. That false feminism is not he seeks justice, the truth, he doesn’t care about people.’
Rubiales (left) announced his resignation in an exclusive interview with Piers Morgan (right)
Last night, he tweeted as his decision to resign was made public on Piers Morgan Uncensored: ‘I will defend my honourability. I will defend my innocence.
‘I have faith in the future. I have faith in the truth. Thanks to everybody.’
He finished his tweet by posting a photo of the Spanish flag.
In a long statement he released just before he took to Twitter, the dad-of-three said: ‘Today at 9:30pm, I transmitted to the acting President, Mr. Pedro Rocha, my resignation from the position of President of the RFEF.
‘I have also informed you that I have done the same with my position at UEFA so that my position in the Vice Presidency can be replaced.
‘After the rapid suspension carried out by FIFA, plus the rest of the proceedings opened against me, it is clear that I will not be able to return to my position.
‘Insisting on waiting and clinging to it is not going to contribute anything positive, neither to the Federation nor to Spanish football. Among other things, because there are de facto powers that will prevent my return.
‘There is the management of my team and, above all, the happiness that I have for the enormous privilege of these more than five years at the head of the RFEF.
Rubiales has resigned as President of the Spanish FA after a controversial few weeks
Hermoso filed formal complaint against Rubiales last week, describing the kiss as a ‘sexist act’ that happened without her consent
‘I do not want Spanish football to be harmed by this disproportionate campaign and, above all, I am making this decision after having made sure that my departure will contribute to the stability that will allow both Europe and Africa to remain united in the dream of 2030, which will allow the largest event in the world to be brought to our country.
‘I must look forward, look to the future.
‘Now there is something that occupies me firmly. I have faith in the truth and I will do everything in my power to make it prevail.
‘My daughters, my family and the people who love me have suffered the effects of excessive persecution, as well as many falsehoods, but it is also true that on the street, more and more every day, the truth is prevailing.
‘From here I convey a big hug to all the workers, assembly members, federations and football people in general, wishing them the best of luck.
‘Thank you to everyone who has supported me during these times.’
Rubiales came under intense scrutiny in the immediate aftermath of the incident with Hermoso, with protests against his presidency taking place across Spain and high-profile individuals calling for him to resign.
FIFA handed him an initial 90-day suspension, and are pushing to ban him for longer, and the Spanish FA publicly apologised for his behaviour.
The statement from Rubiales’ replacement Pedro Rocha said: ‘Spanish society is an example of tolerance and civility, in all social and political spheres and has been an example of behavior and sporting decorum, as it has demonstrated for decades in all sporting events in which it has participated.
‘That nobility and international prestige of our society and our sport have been tarnished in recent days by the actions of Mr. Luis Rubiales. The damage caused to Spanish football, to Spanish sport, to Spanish society and to the values of football and sport as a whole has been enormous.
Rubiales was initially reluctant to step down despite being handed a 90-day suspension by FIFA
‘The RFEF wants to convey to the whole of society and to the whole of world football its deepest regret for what has happened, which has tarnished our national team, our football and our society.
‘We feel deeply sorry for the damage caused and therefore, we must ask for the most sincere apologies and acquire a firm and absolute commitment that [incidents] like these can never happen again.’
World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda was removed from his post following Rubiales’ suspension, not long after the outgoing president had offered him a new contract.
Rubiales is still facing the possibility of a criminal prosecution for sexual assault and coercion over his ‘unsolicited kiss’ on Spanish international Jenni Hermoso following Spain’s World Cup win over England.
The 33-year-old striker lodged a formal complaint last week before returning to Mexico where she plays her club football and prosecutors announced on Friday they had made their formal complaint to a judge at the Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid.
The former Spanish FA president has insisted the kiss was consensual and described it as a ‘peck.’
Protests took place across Spain calling on Rubiales to resign following the incident
The footballer has said the kiss left her feeling vulnerable and a victim of aggression. She has described it as ‘an impulsive, sexist act, out of place and without any type of consent on my part.’
Rubiales, who had apologised for grabbing his crotch during post-match celebrations in front of Spain’s Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter, had said in a lengthy statement last week before announcing his decision to quit: ‘The spontaneity and happiness of the historic moment led us to carry out a mutual and consensual act, a product of great enthusiasm.
‘At no time was there any aggression, indeed, there was not even the slightest discomfort, but an overflowing joy in both of us.’
Rubiales’ 72-year-old mum Angeles Bejar went on hunger strike at a church in her son’s hometown of Motril near Granada for two days after being rushed to hospital 48 hours into her protest.
She said she had launched it to get Jenni to ‘tell the truth’ about the kiss.
Speaking from the inside of the church before falling ill, she said: ‘I just want the truth to be told.
Rubiales sparked more outrage after footage emerged of him grabbing his crotch while celebrating Spain’s win in the vicinity of Spanish Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter
Rubiales mother, Angeles Bejar went on hunger strike at a church in the Costa resort of Motril, near Malaga
‘She knows my son is very honest. If she tells the truth everything will be fixed.’
Referring to the World Cup kiss that led to the so-called ‘Kissgate’ scandal, she added: ‘It was an anecdote, as she herself said, and look how far it’s gone.
‘She should have a conscience and act according to it.
‘My son is very worried and has asked me not to continue, to stop, but I will be here until I drop and my body can continue.’
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