Spain's women footballers say they will not play until FA president who kissed player quits
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Spain's World Cup-winning women's football team have said they will not play until the FA president who kissed a player quits.
After the World Cup final between England and Spain on Sunday (20 August), Spanish FA President, Luis Rubiales, grabbed midfielder Jenni Hermoso's head and kissed her on the lips as she made her way to the podium to collect her medal after the game.
During an interview after the post-match celebration, Hermoso said she 'didn't like' the kiss and, in a statement on Friday (18 August) said that 'in no moment' did she ever consent to it happening.
Later, Rubiales apologised for his behaviour.
"Surely I was wrong, I have to admit," Rubiales said in a video statement sent by the federation. "It was without bad faith at a time of maximum effusiveness."
However, officials in Spain stated that the apology was not enough, calling for Rubiales to be removed from his post following the controversy.
Spain's acting prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, said on Tuesday that Rubiales' apology for kissing Hermoso 'wasn't adequate'.
"It shows that in our country there's a long way to go in terms of equality and respect between men and women," Sanchez told reporters. "What we saw was an unacceptable gesture.
"I think the apology Mr. Rubiales has given wasn't sufficient, I'd say it wasn't adequate, and Mr. Rubiales should keep taking further steps... The RFEF isn't a part of the Spanish government.
"The president is chosen or removed by [the federation's] members. Mr Rubiales must take further steps to clarify a behaviour which is clearly unacceptable. His apology must be more clear and more convincing."
Spain's acting second deputy prime minister, Yolanda Diaz, also called for Rubiales to resign.
And while reports suggested that the Spanish FA president would be leaving, he said that he's not going to stand down and would fight until the end during a conference today.
"I say, what have I done?" he asked.
"Is a consensual peck is enough to get me out of here? I will fight to the end."
But that doesn't appear to be the end of it, as a total of 56 players, including all of the 23-strong World Cup-winning squad, have signed a joint statement saying they will not play another football match for the country until the president leaves his post.
The head of Spain's women's football committee has quit his post meanwhile, while the Spanish government begins to start legal action to suspend Rubiales from his job.
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