Megan Rapinoe says Spanish chief's behaviour signals 'deep misogyny and sexism'
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Megan Rapinoe has unloaded on Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales following his behaviour at the Women's World Cup final.
During the medal ceremony following his country's 1-0 win over England, Rubiales forcibly kissed Spain's Jenni Hermoso on the lips.
His actions made headlines around the world, somewhat marring a historic moment for Spain.
To make matters worse, Rubiales doubled down by claiming that those who criticised him were "idiots and stupid people".
And in a seperate incident, Rubiales was captured on camera grabbing his crotch while 16-year-old Princess Infanta Sofía and Queen Letizia of Spain were standing nearby.
Now World Cup-winner Rapinoe, who exited this year's tournament in the Round of 16, has slammed the RFEF president.
"There was another picture that signals such a deep level of misogyny and sexism in that federation and in that man [Rubiales] at the final whistle, just grabbing his crotch," Rapinoe told The Atlantic.
"What kind of upside-down world are we in? On the biggest stage, where you should be celebrating, Jenni has to be physically assaulted by this guy."
Ya han pasado dos días y Miquel Iceta,Ministro de Deportes y Cultura, sigue sin destituir a Luís Rubiales,— VIQUI ||☆|| (@viquirepublica) August 22, 2023
después d haber cometido un acto q constituye la comisión d un delito
¿Cuanto tardará más @miqueliceta,en cumplir con sus funciones,ante un abuso flagante hacia una mujer? pic.twitter.com/jBsbeFm7pu
🚨 NO es solo el beso sin permiso a Jenni Hermoso.— Perendinador (@Perendinador) August 21, 2023
Esta es la imagen de Luis Rubiales, presidente de la RFEF, tocándose sus genitales en el palco junto a la Reina, la Infanta y el presidente de la FIFA,
Esta imagen es dantesta para la Marca España. pic.twitter.com/G75xScsKR1
She added: "It made me think about how much we are required to endure. Think how much that Spanish team had to shoulder: Some of the players who stood up way back last year [to protest treatment by their coach and federation] still aren't on the team.
"Maybe that was something that galvanised them, but you shouldn't have to have that."
Australian football personality and ex-player Craig Foster also condemned the chief's actions.
"Women in sport are daily subject to an extreme power differential, objectification, harassment, sexual abuse and an absence of agency and power," Foster tweeted.
"This is horrific. He should be stood down immediately by FIFA and the Spanish FA."
Women in sport are daily subject to an extreme power differential, objectification, harassment, sexual abuse and an absence of agency and power.— Craig Foster (@Craig_Foster) August 20, 2023
This is horrific.
He should be stood down immediately by @FIFAcom and the Spanish FA.#FIFAWWC https://t.co/pN5KYHXPAX
These criticisms come during a time where the Spanish federation has already been heavily scrutinised, despite the team's successes on the pitch.
Prior to the Women's World Cup, Spain's playing squad lead a mutiny against coach Jorge Vilda following complaints about the culture under his reign.
The boycott was subsequently shut down by Rubiales, who came out in support of Vilda.
As a result, only three of the 15 players who complained were included in Spain's Women's World Cup team.
So given the circumstances going on behind the scenes, the fact that this playing squad went on to win the biggest prize in international football is all the more impressive.
However, while the team continues its celebrations, the Spanish federation will hold an emergency meeting to address all the ongoing issues.
"Based on the latest events that took place during the award ceremony of the Women's World Cup won by the Spanish National Team last Sunday in Sydney, the Federation wishes to inform that the internal proceedings of the Federation regarding Integrity issues are open, as well as the rest of the applicable protocols," a statement read.