Luis Rubiales: Jennifer Hermoso’s union says ‘unacceptable’ kiss should not go unpunished23 August 2023
A union representing Spain forward Jennifer Hermoso, who was kissed on the lips by Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales, says the incident should not go unpunished.
Rubiales has apologised for the incident which followed Spain's Women's World Cup final win on Sunday.
The incident has drawn international criticism with government ministers demanding Rubiales' resignation.
Hermoso said union Futpro would "defend my interests" in the matter.
The 33-year-old had initially said on Instagram that she "didn't like" Rubiales' actions after the 1-0 win over England, but a statement released later on the player's behalf defended him.
On Monday, Rubiales said in a video statement that he was "completely wrong".
In a joint statement with her union and agency on Wednesday, Hermoso said: "My union Futpro, in co-ordination with my agency TMJ, are taking care of defending my interests and being the interlocutors on this matter."
The Futpro statement said: "We are working to ensure that acts such as those we have seen never go unpunished, that they are sanctioned and that the exemplary measures are adopted to protect women footballers from actions that we believe are unacceptable."
Spain's prime minister Pedro Sanchez has said Rubiales' actions were an "unacceptable gesture" and that his apology is "not enough", while Spain's second deputy prime minister Yolanda Diaz called for his resignation.
Spain's top-flight women's league, Liga F, said Rubiales should be disqualified after he "sullied" the World Cup win and created "unprecedented international embarrassment for Spain, Spanish sport and for women's football in the world".
The Spanish football federation (RFEF) has called an extraordinary general assembly for Friday "as a matter of urgency".
World player's union Fifpro has requested an investigation into Rubiales' actions under Fifa's code of ethics.
Video footage has also circulated online showing Rubiales, who was sitting in the VIP area of the stadium near Fifa president Gianni Infantino and Queen Letizia of Spain, grab his groin as he celebrated the final whistle.
In a Liga F statement confirming it had lodged a complaint with the National Sports Council (CSD) asking for Rubiales' disqualification, it added: "One of the biggest achievements in Spanish football history was sullied by the shameful behaviour of the highest representative of Spanish football.
"It's an incident which has entered the history of world sport and, more seriously still, will forever be linked to our national women's team."
In his statement Rubiales also said: "It was without bad intention at a time with a lot of excitement. In the moment, we saw it as natural, but outside a commotion has formed.
"I have to apologise, learn from this, and understand that when you are president you have to be more careful."
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