Scotland players have expressed their support for Spanish women’s football team captain Jenni Hermoso.
It comes as the forward says she did not consent to being kissed by Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales, after Sunday’s World Cup final win over the Lionesses.
Rubiales has refused to resign after kissing Hermoso on the lips, claiming he was a victim of a witch hunt by “false feminists”.
The football president was also seen to grab his crotch in celebration, despite being metres away from Spain’s Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter in the stadium VIP area.
Members of Scotland’s national women’s squad have now expressed their support for Hermoso.
Captain Rachel Corsie, along with Erin Cuthbert, Claire Emslie, Jamie-Lee Napier, Lisa Evans and Lana Clelland, posted on X: “We, as players of SWNT, stand with you [Jessi Hermoso] and all of the Spanish National Team players.”
Real Madrid and Team Scotland’s Caroline Weir wrote: “Nothing should overshadow what the Spanish national team achieved. The ongoing situation is ridiculous, unacceptable and wrong.
“How are we still facing these issues?! I am with you [Jessi Hermoso].”
A total of 81 Spanish players have since signed a letter stating they will not accept national team call-ups while Rubiales refuses to step down.
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.
“I have to state that I have been under continuous pressure to come up with a statement that could justify the act of Mr. Luis Rubiales,” she said in a statement on Twitter.
“Not only that, but in different ways and through different people, the RFEF has pressured those around me (family, friends, colleagues, etc.) to give testimony that had little or nothing to do with my feelings.
“It is not up to me to evaluate communication and integrity practices, but I am sure that as the world champion national team we do not deserve such a manipulative, hostile and controlling culture.
“This type of incident joins a long list of situations that we players have been denouncing in recent years, so this event, in which I have been involved, is just the straw that breaks the camel’s back and what everyone has been able to see.
“But attitudes like this have been part of the day-to-day life of our team for years.
“For all these reasons, I want to reinforce the position I took from the beginning, considering that I do not have to support the person who has committed this action against my will, without respecting me, at a historic moment for me and for women’s sport.”
Hermoso said the incident had made her feel “vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out-of-place act without any consent on my part”, adding: “I have ZERO TOLERANCE for these behaviours.”
The Spanish government will push for the suspension of Rubiales but the players – including all members of the victorious squad – have taken matters into their own hands by effectively going on strike while he remains in position.
A joint statement released by players’ union Futpro said they “want to express their firm and resounding condemnation of behaviours that have violated the dignity of women”.