Iniesta says Rubiales’ behavior is damaging Spain’s image
MOSCOW, 27 Aug – The behavior of Luis Rubiales, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), who has been suspended from office, is damaging the country’s image, world champion Andres Iniesta said.
During the awards ceremony for the winners of the World Cup, which was held in Australia and New Zealand, Rubiales hugged and kissed the lips of Spain footballer Jennifer Hermoso. Many journalists and fans called his actions excessive. The International Football Federation (FIFA) opened a disciplinary case against Rubiales. The head of the RFEF apologized for his behavior, but the federation convened an extraordinary assembly, during a speech at which Rubiales announced that he would not resign and was ready to defend himself in court. On Saturday, FIFA’s disciplinary committee suspended Rubiales from any football-related activity.
“Instead, we are forced to put up with a president who clings to his position, does not recognize that his behavior was unacceptable and damages the image of our country and our football around the world,” he added.
Hermoso was supported by many players, including Barcelona captain Sergi Roberto, two-time winner of the Golden Ball among women, Alexia Putellas, as well as other players of the Spanish national team. The public prosecutor’s office in Madrid on Friday opened a case against the head of the RFEF on suspicion of sexual assault. The case contains a statement from Hermoso herself, as well as from the president of the national school of football coaches, Miguel Angel Galan.
Rubiales is 45 years old. He has led RFEF since May 2018. Hermoso is Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer. In 2022, the football player moved to the Mexican Pachuca.