The whole world was watching when Luis Rubiales – the President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation of Spain – kissed Women’s World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso without her consent during the medal ceremony at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. And over a week after the images were broadcast, people are still watching the fallout from Rubiales’ reprehensible conduct.
Rubiales’ immediate reaction was to call all those criticizing him “idiots.” He then went on to “apologize” to those he’d offended, the classic non-apology. But as media scrutiny over the moment intensified, Hermoso – and the entirety of the Spanish women’s team, with support from former players put out statements condemning Rubiales’s actions and demanding institutional change. All 23 women in Spain’s World Cup-winning team have refused to play again while Rubiales remains President.
The outpouring of support from the fútbol world was swift – and it included Liga MX Femenil and Pachuca, the team Jenni Hermoso plays for in Mexico.
Pachuca’s statement was more one of support for Hermoso, with the team calling her “one of the best soccer players of all time,” and “an example for millions of girls and boys.” The team also pledges “institutional, emotional and personal support” and promises Jenni “we will not leave you alone.”
The Liga MX Femenil went even further, with a statement that makes it clear that the league will “defend and protect the rights of our players, managers and staff,” with the League promising “zero tolerance for any type of act that violates their integrity.”
Mexico is very close to Hermoso’s heart. The player, who moved to Mexico to play for Pachuca and who has previously stated that Mexico changed her life, even celebrated right after the World Cup win with a very animated “Viva México, cabrones!” after a couple of fans gifted her with a sombrero. And just as Hermoso loves Mexico, Mexico loves her too – and has her back one hundred percent.