The Spanish Football Federation has announced an intention to take legal action over comments made about its president Luis Rubiales by World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso.
Hermoso was quoted in a statement issued by Futpro, the players’ union representing her, as stating “in no case did I seek to raise (lift) the president” during a a podium embrace after the World Cup final between Spain and England in Sydney.
The Federation says it has analysed four images of Hermoso and Rubiales embracing, claiming they show it was Hermoso’s force that lifted him.
Hermoso had accused the Federation of a “manipulative, hostile and controlling culture” as the World Cup-winning squad refused to play while Rubiales remains in post.
A total of 81 players signed a letter stating they will not accept national team call-ups while Rubiales refuses to resign after kissing Hermoso – who has stressed she did not consent – following the country’s World Cup win.
He claimed it was “spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consensual” but Hermoso, who previously suggested comments playing down the incident attributed to her by the federation were false, hit back with an attack on the organisation as a whole.
The Federation said: “The RFEF announces the presentation of as many legal actions as may correspond in defence of the honourability of the President of the RFEF.
“In the union’s note, it is said to speak on behalf of Jennifer Hermoso and some statements by the player are attributed to her that are in quotation marks, implying that they have been pronounced by her.
“The RFEF wishes to inform public opinion that the competent bodies of the RFEF that are processing the complaints filed with the Federation have tried to contact Jennifer Hermoso, having been unsuccessful at all times.
“The RFEF and Mr President will demonstrate each of the lies that are spread either by someone on behalf of the player or, if applicable, by the player herself.
“The RFEF and the President, given the seriousness of the content of the press release from the Futpro Union, will initiate the corresponding legal actions.
“The RFEF regrets that after such an extraordinary sporting success as the one that occurred in the Soccer World Championship, it cannot be celebrated as the situation and success deserves for completely non-sports reasons.”