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Blatant Examples of Misogyny Reflected in Spanish Federation Chief’s Acts

Spain's women's soccer team had just won the World Cup for the first time. The country's football federation president, Luis Rubiales, grabbed player Jenni Hermoso by the head and forced her to kiss him on the lips. Spain's acting prime minister said it was "unacceptable." The acting minister of equality called it a "form of sexual violence." A member of the football federation filed an official complaint with the Spanish government body overseeing the sport. This member called it a "sexist, intolerable act in sport" and asserted it violated a Spanish law barring sexism in sports. FIFA, the international soccer federation, opened a disciplinary case against Rubiales for his acts to determine whether he violated the "basic rules of decent conduct" and behaved in a way that "brings the sport of football and/or FIFA into disrepute." The players’ union called for Rubiales's conduct to have consequences.

Rubiales initially dismissed the idea that his acts were inappropriate, and then he sent out a weak apology, "Probably I made a mistake.” After press sources reported that he would resign, Rubiales publicly announced he would not. He claimed to be a victim of "social assassination" and accused critics of "false feminism." Rubiales also said Hermoso lifted him off his feet and moved him close to her body (notwithstanding that video shows what happened). 

On Saturday, FIFA said that Mr. Rubiales would be suspended “from all football-related activities” at national and international levels for an initial period of 90 days. FIFA also ordered both Mr. Rubiales and the soccer federation he chairs to refrain from contacting Hermoso.