Support line freephone: 0808 2840484   Enquiries:


Spain 1 – Rubiales 0

The Spanish women’s national football team win again and this time share their victory with all women.

In a huge victory for female solidarity and arguments around consent, Luis Rubiales who forced a kiss on Jenni Hermoso after the Spanish women’s team won the FIFA World Cup, has now resigned after a drawn out and bitter argument about his behavior.

It can be hard to read some of the discourse about Rubiales conduct. Woody Allen, a man who’s career has been plagued by allegations of molestation, said “he wasn’t raping her, it was just a kiss… it’s hard to understand that a person can lose their job for kissing someone”. Rubiales mother ended up in hospital after locking herself in her church and going on hunger strike that lasted barely a couple of days. These stories, when published on social media, attract an array of misogynistic comments and it can make us feel angry, hopeless, frustrated and it can trigger emotions about past trauma. 

Support for Jenni

We can and must see the bigger picture though and take hope in the huge support Jenni Hermoso has received. The Spanish men’s football team made a statement on Monday. “We want to regret and express our solidarity with the players who have seen their success tarnished. We want to reject what we consider to be unacceptable behaviour on the part of Mr. Rubiales, who has not been up to the standard of the institution he represents.”

Sarina Wiegman, head coach for England, on 31st August, when accepting an award in Monaco for Coach of The Year dedicated her award to the Spanish women’s team. “We all know the issues around the Spanish team, and it really hurts me as a coach, as a mother of two daughters, as a wife and a human being. We just talked about 1988 and the game has grown so much, but there’s also a long way to go in women’s football and in society, and I would like to dedicate this award to the Spanish team, the team that played in the World Cup such great football that everyone enjoyed.”

The Lionesses

The Lionesses themselves made an excellent statement of solidarity. “Unacceptable actions allowed to happen by a sexist and patriarchal organisation. Abuse is abuse and we have all seen the truth. The behaviour of those who think they are invincible must not be tolerated. People shouldn’t need convincing to take action against any form of harassment. We all stand with you, Jenni Hermoso and all players of the Spanish team.”

The Lionesses

This has been a phenomenal display of strength in numbers and of the great societal change that we’ve seen in women’s sport and as a result of women’s sport. When women are given the opportunity to excel and thrive, we find our strength and resilience. When that happens to a team of women who dominate a sport on a world stage, the power balance shifts. And that’s what this ultimately comes down to, power. In a moment of triumph, Rubiales took away Jenni Hermoso’s power. At a time when she was one of the most powerful and excellent women on the planet, he saw fit to take her in his arms as if he owned her and this is completely unacceptable.