Sevilla players showed their solidarity with the Spain Women’s World Cup champion who was kissed by the now-suspended president of the national federation with T-shirts bearing a message against Luis Rubiales before Saturday’s game against Girona.
Spain has been in an uproar since Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the awards ceremony following the World Cup final in Sydney last weekend.
Before kickoff, Sevilla’s player wore T-shirts with the message “This is over,” echoing a message in rejection of Rubiales that was started by Hermoso’s teammate and two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas on social media. The crowd also chanted “This is over.” Hermoso attended a preseason match for Atletico Madrid, the club where the forward started her long and successful career. She received an ovation from the crowd.
Earlier, FIFA moved to temporarily suspend Rubiales a day after he said he would not resign amid mounting pressure from Spain’s government, players’ unions and some clubs and players for him to go.
Sevilla was one of the first Spanish clubs to say publicly in a statement that Rubiales cannot remain in charge of Spanish soccer.
Girona won 2-1 with Aleix García scoring the 56th-minute winner, dealing Sevilla its fourth defeat in as many games.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Osasuna, Valencia, Celta Vigo, Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol are also among the clubs who have sided with the government, which has asked a court to have Rubiales deemed unfit to hold his office.
Rubiales defended his actions on Friday, saying the kiss was “consensual.” Hermoso said that was false and she felt assaulted.
Also, Granada beat Mallorca 3-2 at home for the promoted club’s first win, while Kaiky scored in stoppage time to snatch 10-man Almeria a 1-1 draw with Cadiz.
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