A Triumphant Return
Jennifer Hermoso, a star in the world of women’s football, has been called up to the Spanish national team, marking her first return since the controversial incident involving an unwanted kiss from Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
The Unwanted Kiss
The incident, which occurred on August 20 after Spain’s 1-0 victory against England in the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney, Australia, sparked outrage and led to Rubiales’ resignation. Video footage from the World Cup medal ceremony showed Rubiales forcibly kissing Hermoso, an act that was clearly non-consensual.
Hermoso Speaks Out
Hermoso expressed her discomfort and violation on social media, stating, “I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part … Simply put, I was not respected.” This brave act of speaking out led to an official complaint filed against Rubiales, who is now under investigation for sexual assault and coercion.
The incident led to a period of turmoil within Spanish football. The selection of the national team for games against Sweden and Switzerland was met with resistance, as players expressed their unwillingness to be called up amidst the ongoing controversy. It took the intervention of the Spanish government and the High Council of Sport (CSD) to facilitate crisis talks and bring about structural changes within the federation.
A New Beginning
As the Spanish women’s national team prepares to face Italy on October 27 and Switzerland on October 31, Hermoso’s return symbolizes not just a personal triumph, but also a step forward for Spanish women’s football. Amidst the controversy and challenges, the team’s unity and resilience have shone through, heralding a new chapter of strength and renewal.
In the wake of the scandal, the return of Jennifer Hermoso to the national team is a testament to her strength and the ongoing transformation within Spanish football. As the team prepares for upcoming matches, the focus is now on healing, unity, and the bright future ahead for women’s football in Spain.