Friday, September 29, 2023

Luis Rubiales hit with restraining order as Spain Women extend boycott

Luis Rubiales has been issued a restraining order banning him from going within 200m of Jenni Hermoso after he allegedly kissed her without consent.

The former president of the Spanish Football Federation was summoned to Madrid’s Audiencia Nacional to answer allegations of sexual assault and coercion.

Rubiales was in court on FridayAFP

Rubiales kissed Hermoso after the World Cup final with the Spanish star stating that it was not consensualGetty

Rubiales denied both accusations in court as he has done repeatedly when speaking to the media, claiming the kiss was consensual. 

The coercion charge relates to the claim that he attempted to persuade Hermoso to say that the kiss was consensual.

Prosecutors had asked the judge hearing the case to consider a restraining order which would prevent Rubiales from going within 500 metres of Hermoso. 

Shortly after the case concluded, the judge approved a restraining order of 200m, as well as the condition that Rubiales must not contact Hermoso.

Speaking to the media after the hearing, Hermoso’s lawyer Carla Vall said: “We are very satisfied with today’s statement. 

“We can continue to maintain that it was not a consensual kiss. 

“Thanks to that video, everyone has been able to see that there was no kind of consent, and that is what we are going to show inside the courtroom too.”

Neither Rubiales nor his lawyer spoke to the media after the hearing.

Alexia Putellas posted a statement confirming the team will continue their boycottGetty

As of last year, Spain have a ‘Only Yes is Yes’ law in place which categorises the alleged non-consensual kiss as sexual assault.

Rubiales could face a fine or a jail sentence if he is found guilty. 

Despite Rubiales’ resignation, not one of the 23 players who featured for Spain at the Women’s World Cup have made themselves available for international duty for the September camp. 

Following their World Cup victory, Spain’s winning squad, as well as many other eligible players, went on strike on August 25, vowing not to play for their country unless Rubiales resigned and reforms to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) were made. 

Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to release a statement confirming that Spain Women will not return to international duty due to the insufficient reforms made by the RFEF.

The official statement was signed by 39 players, including a number of those who boycotted the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

It read: “Today, as we have conveyed to the Federation, the changes they have made are insufficient to make the players feel like they are in a safe place, where women are respected and where we can give our best performances.”

Spain were scheduled to compete in the inaugural UEFA Women’s Nations League and were meant to play Sweden on September 22 and Switzerland on September 26.

It is not unknown whether Spain will now compete in the competition.

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