Friday, 1 September 2023, 21:59
Luis Rubiales, the still president of the Spanish RFEF football assocation, who found himself at the centre of controversy after his behaviour after Spain won the FIFA Women's World Cup, has issued a lengthy statement via his X (Twitter) account this Friday evening (1 September). He defended himself once again, insisting that his kiss with Jenni Hermoso was consensual and accused the Spanish government of putting pressure on him to resign.
This is the full statement from Rubiales, translated from the original Spanish text:
"On 20 August last, I made some obvious mistakes, which I sincerely, wholeheartedly regret. It is true that I apologised for those mistakes because it was right; and now I do it again with humility. I do so with conviction and with the purpose of improving. I have learned that however great the joy and however deep the emotion, even when you WIN A WORLD CUP, sports leaders must demand exemplary behaviour from us, and mine was not.
I therefore reiterate, once again, my apologies for this to the players, the federation and other football bodies in a clear, categorical and unreserved manner. I also apologise to the football fans and to all those who may have been offended by my actions.
I also gave the corresponding explanations, telling the truth of what happened. This is my only version, the one I have maintained from the first moment and which I continue to defend and will not change. The spontaneity and happiness of the historic moment led us to carry out a mutual and consensual act, a product of great enthusiasm. At no time was there any aggression, indeed, there was not even the slightest discomfort, but an overflowing joy in both of us.
I repeat: with the consent of both parties, both in the affectionate embraces, as well as in the kiss and subsequent farewell full of affectionate mutual gestures, which took place on the platform where the winners' medals were awarded. Relevant evidence, expert reports, documentation, videos, etc... have been and will continue to be provided to prove the reality of what happened. The evidence is not opinions, it is clear facts.
From the outset, the RFEF, through its INTEGRITY department, carried out the relevant procedures. I was called before and I collaborated to clarify the facts. I am the most interested party.
I will continue to cooperate at all levels to see this through to the end. In this respect, I have also taken part in the proceedings initiated by FIFA to defend my position. And I will continue in all other areas where I can prove my honour.
I am particularly concerned that some of those who should be proclaiming and helping to guarantee the separation of powers in our country are determined to take sides and exert pressure against me, instead of letting justice act with all the guarantees, by standing aside.
Throughout this period I have suffered an unprecedented political and media lynching from which I have remained totally aloof. Not only nationally but globally.
Despite this, I have also felt the growing support of the people in the streets and on social media networks. I feel that something has changed and in the face of such a spurious injustice and public trial, ordinary citizens, women and men alike, have united. I want to thank them here and now. This is the moment to thank them infinitely for their immense support, for believing me, for not letting themselves be carried away by this fabricated campaign against me. The popular support reinforces my belief that this matter has been magnified and taken out of context for other reasons.
I continue to trust in the independence of the bodies where this issue is to be decided, despite the fact that political and media pressure is as self-interested as it is brutal and that the information on this issue is subject to a multitude of manipulations, lies and censorship, but the truth has only one way and that is why, I repeat, I trust that justice will be done.
Today, the CAS has decided to open a case against me. As there is no reason, according to the resolution of this body, to classify any action as VERY SERIOUS, a provisional suspension cannot be applied by the CSD Board of Directors.
I will continue to defend myself to show the truth. I want to send a message to all good people in our country and beyond our borders, including those women who have really been assaulted and who have my full support and understanding: this is not about gender, it is about truth.
In the name of Feminism, one should not try to bring down a man - or a woman - without a fair trial.
Equality is about equal rights for all. Justice is applied to individuals without gender having to determine the outcome beforehand.
I feel that I have been unfairly judged by the media and politicians. This should never happen to anyone again."
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