Chairman ‘forced kisses’, coach’s bad hand…Spain women’s team wins first WC → Mood ‘terrible’ over sexual misconduct

The Spanish women’s soccer team has achieved a monumental feat by winning its first ever World Cup title, but it has been overshadowed by sexual misconduct allegations.

Spain’s women’s national soccer team celebrated their first-ever World Cup victory with a 1-0 win over England in the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday (June 20).

Spain rattled the England net in the 28th minute when fullback Olga Carmona broke into the penalty box and calmly sent a low, quick left-footed shot into the opposite corner of the net.

Midfielder Jennifer Hermoso missed a chance to extend the lead in the 25th minute of the second half, but the Spanish women held on to Carmona’s goal and remain on top of the World Cup table.

After being crowned World Cup champions, the Spanish women’s team went straight to the awards ceremony, where Luis Rubiales, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), hugged Hermoso, grabbed her face with both hands and kissed her.

Kissing someone without their consent is considered sexual assault. Later, in the locker room, Hermoso laughed when asked about the situation during a live Instagram broadcast, but said he “didn’t feel good” about it.

Initially, Rubiales shrugged off the reaction, telling Radio Marca, “Kissing Hermoso? Everyone says stupid things,” and that it didn’t mean anything.

Hermoso himself later told the Spanish Football Association, “It was an expression of intimacy. There was a lot of joy after winning the World Cup and it was a natural gesture. I don’t have a problem with the president,” he said, but public opinion hasn’t quieted down.

Many public figures and media outlets criticized Rubiales, including Spain’s Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, Mikel Iseta, who said, “It’s unacceptable to me. We live in an era of equality, rights, and respect for women,” and “We all have to be careful with our attitudes and behavior. I think it’s unacceptable to kiss an athlete on the lips to congratulate them.”

As criticism mounted, Mr. Rubiales finally bowed out on Nov. 22. In an apology video released by ESPN and others, Mr. Rubiales said, “Clearly, I made a mistake. It happened in the heat of the moment and without any malicious intent,” he said.

He continued, “I thought it was natural, but it caused a ripple out there. I have to apologize because some people were hurt,” he said, adding, “I have to learn from this and I will be more careful as the president of an important organization.” He promised to prevent it from happening again.

“This was the biggest success in the history of women’s soccer and the second World Cup won by our country, Spain, and I am sad that this incident has affected the celebrations,” he apologized again.

Despite Rubiales’ public apology in a video message, the incident did not go away. “Mr. Rubiales’ apology was neither sufficient nor appropriate,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, adding that “the athletes gave everything to win, but his behavior showed that there is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality.”

Yolanda Díaz, Spain’s second deputy prime minister and labor minister, joined in the condemnation, claiming that “their excuses are useless” and that “the national team has shown that the country still has a lot of work to do, that men and women have a lot of work to do to be equal.”

As the scandal grew and FIFA launched an investigation into the incident, Rubiales announced that he would soon step down as president.

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has informed Luis Rubiales, president of the Royal Spanish Football Association, that it will open disciplinary proceedings against him based on the events that took place during the Women’s World Cup Final,” FIFA said recently.

“The incident may constitute a breach of Article 13, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA Disciplinary Regulations. The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will provide further information on the disciplinary proceedings once it has made a final decision on the matter.”

“After FIFA’s investigation began on August 24, Rubiales will announce his resignation on the 25th,” explained Spain’s Cadena Ser.

The women’s World Cup title is Spain’s second overall in men’s and women’s soccer. Thirteen years after the men’s team won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the women’s team won the tournament in Australia and New Zealand, marking the first time that both the men’s and women’s teams have been crowned World Cup champions.

Spain, nicknamed the “Invincibles,” were thrust into the limelight after winning the World Cup with both their men’s and women’s teams, but a sexual misconduct scandal involving their federation’s president threw a wrench in the works.

And it’s not just the “surprise kiss” that has gotten Rubiales into trouble. The Spanish newspaper Marca recently reported that “Rubiales engaged in controversial behavior while celebrating Spain’s victory in the stands.”

In the video released by Marca, Rubiales suddenly grabbed his crotch with his right hand while shouting in celebration of the victory, despite the presence of Spanish Queen Letizia and Princess Leonor next to him. Fans who watched the video said they couldn’t understand it and condemned Rubiales’ behavior.

Not only the president, but also the head coach of the Spanish women’s national soccer team, Jorge Bilda, has been caught up in the sexual misconduct controversy. “During the World Cup final, Bilda was shown making inappropriate physical contact with a female staff member,” said CNN, which released a photo of Bilda grabbing a female staff member’s breasts.온라인카지노

The footage came after Carmona scored the first and final goal of the final, and Bilda was seen celebrating the goal with his coaching staff in a hug before touching a female staff member’s breast with his left hand.

Bilda, who has been at the helm of the Spanish women’s national soccer team since 2015, has been involved in controversy before, having clashed with players on the national team. In September 2022, 15 members of the national team wrote to the federation and informed them that they would no longer play for the national team unless there were major changes to the coaching staff, including Bilda.

The federation backed Bilda at the time, but it will be interesting to see if the federation will stand by him again in the future after he won the World Cup but was accused of sexual misconduct in the final.

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