Victor Francos, the Spanish Secretary of State for Sports, believes their men’s national team could have done more to support the women’s side following former federation president Luis Rubiales’ kiss on Jenni Hermoso.
In September, Spain men’s captain Alvaro Morata read a statement on behalf of the entire squad. It said that Rubiales’ behaviour in Sydney after the women’s World Cup final had been “unacceptable” and that the players were “firmly and clearly on the side of the values that Spanish football represents — respect, inspiration, equality and diversity”.
Borja Iglesias withdrew himself from selection for the national team in the aftermath of the Rubiales incident and his subsequent speech back in Spain. The Real Betis striker made himself available again once Rubiales had resigned.
“I would have liked more forcefulness in their assessment of the events,” Francos told The Athletic.
“And it seemed to me that the joint statement had to reflect the lowest common denominator of the players as a whole. I would have liked it to have been a bit louder.
“I think I speak for a lot of people — in the world of sport and women’s sport, we have a long way to go.
“It is true that there was a lack of forcefulness, not only in the condemnation but also in the support, in being close to them.”
Spain’s men’s team are doing everything they can to avoid discussing Rubiales
Spain’s Audencia Nacional (National Court) has started gathering evidence and testimony in the case against former RFEF (Spanish FA) president Rubiales after it accepted the complaint filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office last month.
The lawsuit filed was for an alleged sexual assault and coercion following his kiss on Hermoso after the Women’s World Cup final, which she says was not consensual.
Rubiales claims the kiss was “mutual” and “consensual” and has denied two criminal offences.
On Monday, Hermoso told the Spanish prosecutor’s office that the country’s football federation and its president, Luis Rubiales, “tarnished my reputation” when he kissed her after the 2023 Women’s World Cup final, adding: “why do I have to be crying in a room when I haven’t done anything?”
Hermoso added that the incident “made it difficult for me to leave the house”.
(Photo: JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images)