Spain’s Women’s Soccer Team Refuses to Play Until President Resigns for World Cup Kiss

Luis Rubiales has been the subject of backlash after he kissed a midfielder following the World Cup final

Jenni Hermoso and her teammates are not backing down after Luis Rubiales, the president of Spain’s soccer federation, said he will not resign after reportedly kissing her on the lips.

Rubiales, 46, has been the subject of backlash after he kissed the midfielder following the World Cup final.

Related: Spain’s Soccer President Criticized After Grabbing His Crotch, Kissing Player Post-World Cup: ‘Unacceptable’

"I've come under a lot of pressure. Perhaps somebody will look to remove me on Monday. But we live in a country of laws. Is a consensual kiss enough to remove me? I'm going to fight until the end. I hope the law is followed, and that as there's no reason to [remove me], it won't happen," he said during a speech to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), on Friday, per ESPN.

<p>Europa Press via AP</p> Luis Rubiales

Europa Press via AP

Luis Rubiales

After the victory in which Spain scored a 1-0 win over England, Rubiales was allegedly also seen kissing several other players on the face during their celebration and allegedly grabbing his crotch in the crowd.

According to the Associated Press, Rubiales said on Friday that “false feminists” are on a witch hunt.

“The kiss was the same I could give one of my daughters,” Rubiales said, according to the outlet.

Related: Spanish Soccer President Luis Rubiales Refuses to Resign After Kissing Player on the Lips at World Cup

Hermoso issued her own statement on Friday on X, formally known as Twitter. According to PBS, Hermoso said in her statement issued in Spanish that “in no moment did I consent to the kiss that he gave me and in no moment did I try to pick up the president.”

Her team also showed their support by issuing their own joint statement sent via their FUTPRO union in which they said they would refuse to play while Rubiales remains in charge.

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"From our association, we ask the Royal Spanish Football Federation to implement the necessary protocols, [and] ensure the rights of our players," the statement read in part.

"It is essential that our team, the current world champion, is always represented by figures who project values of equality and respect in all areas," the statement continued. "[It's] necessary to continue advancing in the fight for equality, a fight that our players have led with determination, getting us to the position we find ourselves in today."

ESPN reports that the president of Spain's Sports Council (CSD) and Victor Francos, its secretary of state for sport, have confirmed that the CSD will seek to remove Rubiales and will present a complaint to the country's Administrative Sports Court (TAD).

Spain's Sports Council did not immediately respond to PEOPLE'S request for comment.

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