The USA national team player Alex Morgan has come out in support of Jenni Hermoso in her row with the Spanish FA president, Luis Rubiales, saying she was “disgusted” by how the Spain forward had been treated.
After Spain had won the World Cup on Sunday, Rubiales grabbed Hermoso by the head and kissed her on the mouth. On Friday the president said he would not resign and claimed Hermoso had consented to the kiss. Hours later Hermoso released a statement saying she had not, and added that she had been put under pressure by the Spanish FA to come out in support of the president.
The incident has caused uproar around the world with players from a host of national teams coming out in support of the Spain No 10. Morgan wrote: “I’m disgusted by the public actions of Luis Rubiales. I stand by Jenni Hermoso and the Spanish players. Winning a World Cup should be one of the best moments in these players’ lives but instead it’s overshadowed by assault, misogyny, and failures by the Spanish federation.”
The England defender Alex Greenwood added to the sense of disbelief in the game, saying: “At this moment you and your team should be celebrating your incredible achievement. However again it is being overshadowed by those above who think they are invincible. Enough is enough!! Jenni Hermoso and the Spanish team, we all stand with you!!”
Beth Mead, who missed the World Cup with an ACL injury, said: “The game, the Spanish players deserve more, no players should have to endure this. It’s unacceptable, and also laughable that these men still are allowed so much power. Jenni Hermoso, we are all with you.”
Spain won the World Cup by beating England 1-0 in the final but the buildup had been severely disrupted by 15 players walking out of the team after Euro 2022, saying that the Spanish FA did not take women’s football seriously. Only three of those players were recalled for the World Cup by the coach, Jorge Vilda.
On Friday the Spain players released a statement saying they would not play for their country again until Rubiales resigned, with midfielder Alexia Putellas adding: “This is unacceptable. It’s over. With you teammate Jenni Hermoso.”
Patri Guijarro, one of the players who refused to go back to the national team ahead of the World Cup, said: “It’s over. With you Jenni. It’s a shame that it had to get to this point so people believe the complaints from months ago are real.”
Another player who did not return, the centre-back Mapi León, said: “It wasn’t necessary for a lot of time to pass to see what we were demanding a few months ago wasn’t a simple tantrum. The images speak for themselves, and I don’t think there’s much more to add. It is unacceptable. For all women, with you Jenni Hermoso.”