Barcelona president Joan Laporta has condemned Luis Rubiales for kissing Jenni Hermoso at the Women’s World Cup.
The Barca president slammed Rubiales for his “shameful” behaviour and reiterated the club’s support for Hermoso.
Rubiales sparked one of the biggest recent controversies in women’s football when he kissed Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s victory against England in the 2023 World Cup final.
Speaking ahead of Barcelona’s La Liga match against Villarreal on Sunday, Laporta repeated the club’s position on the issue.
“I reiterate that Rubiales’ behavior has been unacceptable, improper and shameful. We give unconditional support to the players. Jenni we are with you,” Laporta said.
“We thought that Rubiales was going to resign [on Friday], that he had no other choice. As FC Barcelona we fully respect FIFA’s decision to provisionally disable him. Let it be clear that in an energetic, forceful way [that in] any case of sexist violence, abuse and harassment, we give support to the victims.”
Rubiales gave an explosive press conference on Friday during which he insisted he would not resign. Later that day, Hermoso published a statement in which she denied that Rubiales’ kiss was consensual and accused the Spanish FA of pressuring her to publicly absolve Rubiales of blame.
The RFEF responded by threatening Hermoso and the Spanish Professional Footballers’ Union with legal action, before FIFA suspended Rubiales from all footballing activities for 90 days.
Spain’s coach Jorge Vilda eventually came out in criticism of Rubiales despite applauding him during Friday’s press conference. He now finds himself in an awkward position as all of his coaching staff have resigned. 81 Spanish players have made themselves unavailable for selection until Rubiales is permanently removed from his position.