Bizarre coda to Rubiales controversy

Over the next few days, there will be little or no blog posts as I will be a little busy with other things.

However, I had to say something about the bizarre coda to the controversy about the Spanish soccer chief Luis Rubiales and his forcible kissing of a player on the World Cup winning Spanish soccer team.

It appears that his mother is vowing to go on a hunger strike to protest the way her son is being treated.

In a desperate move, the mother of Spain’s football chief has locked herself in a church in southern Spain and declared a hunger strike, as prosecutors open an investigation into his conduct.

A week after Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Federation, kissed Spain’s Jenni Hermoso at the Women’s World Cup awards ceremony, his reputation is in tatters and his future hangs in the balance.

In a desperate attempt to defend her son, Ángeles Béjar, Rubiales’ mother, locked herself in the Divina Pastora church in Motril, southern Spain, and declared a hunger strike.

She won’t stop, she says, until the authorities find a solution to the “inhuman and bloody hunt they are conducting against my son with something he doesn’t deserve”.

Rubiales’s mother told the Spanish news agency EFE that she would remain in the church “day and night” and on strike “indefinitely” until justice is done for her son.

The woman remained in the parish church with her sister after the priest left.

Luis Rubiales’ mother has asked Jenni Hermoso to “tell the truth” and “maintain the version she had at the beginning of the incident”.

One has to admire the devotion of a mother to her son but a hunger strike? Really? These are usually done to highlight a grave injustice and provoke widespread anger. But the plight of a beleaguered highly entitled sports bureaucrat is hardly the thing that spurs mass sympathy. And is her son going to let his mother fall ill and even die just so that he can keep his job?

I think that she is only making herself and her son look ridiculous.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    One positive side of this mess is, it has brought toxic conduct among powerful bosses to the forefront of public attention.

    For instance, it took a huge scandal and a rape trial (aimed at the spouse of a member) to force the Swedish Academy to clean house.
    Yes, academia is different from sports but in some ways they can be depressingly similar.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    birger @2: Old Boys Clubs are remarkably similar across the spectrum of human activity.

  3. says

    Ángel María Villar was president of Royal Spanish Football Federation in 2010, when Spain’s male team won the world cup. Rubiales was a player on the winning team.

    Imagine if Villar were a gay man and, during the awards ceremony, Villar grabbed and kissed Rubiales without consent in the same way Rubiales kissed Hermoso without consent. What would Rubiales’s reaction have been? What would be the reaction of the media, Spanish public, FIFA, and football fanatics around the world?

    I don’t understand why sexist males can’t just shake the hands of women players in the same way they shake hands with and congratulate men players.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    @5: Tell me you never watch and know nothing about football, without telling me you never watch and know nothing about football.

    Male players and managers have been kissing other males, be they other players, other managers or even match officials with varying levels of consent for DECADES, to the point that anyone with even the most cursory knowledge of the game (e.g. me) is perfectly well aware of it. Anyone who grew up being forced to play rugby (e.g. me) would be well aware of the “fact” that “all football players are poofs” -- because they’re always kissing each other, aren’t they? It’s not a “what if this happened?” situation, is something that happens so commonly it’s literally a stereotype of what footballers DO. Obviously in order to be aware of the stereotype then Spain’s women’s team’s World Cup victory needs to be not the first thing you’ve ever paid any attention to about football.

    Indeed, if you knew ANYTHING AT ALL about the game then the thing you’d be bleating about would be the level of homophobic abuse heaped on players who do it. But you’re not complaining about that, because this kiss is the first one you’ve heard of. This kiss is indeed reprehensible and the response to it by Rubiales and others (e.g. the federation threatening to sue players who refuse to play for their nation, threatening to sue the player kissed for “lying”) has been incredible. But doing the “what if a man did it to a man” schtick just makes you look silly.

  5. Rob Grigjanis says

    Intransitive @5: Rubiales was a player, but he played most of his career in the Segunda División. Never played a game for Spain.

  6. Silentbob says

    @ 7 sonofrojblake

    Tell me you have no idea how powerful men excuse sexual assault without telling me you have no idea how powerful men excuse sexual assault, fuckwit.

    “But it’s my job to kiss the players! Everyone does it. Okay, so maybe my tongue went down her throat… it was an accident. Yes, I know you have video of me grabbing her buns. My hand slipped!”

    Stop pretending “male bonding” is indistinguishable from predatory behaviour you fucked up sexual assault apologist. (You’re links are to cheek kisses -- not remotely similar.)

    Anyway, since you claim it’s commonplace -- could you link us to video of a soccer official congratulating the team after a win, grabbing a male player by the head and planting a kiss on his lips. You claim this is commonplace and I (and everyone else reading) thinks you are full of shit.

  7. Ichthyic says

    “if you knew ANYTHING AT ALL about the game then the thing you’d be bleating about would be the level of homophobic abuse heaped on players who do it”

    one wonders then, that since you are so familiar with this type of abuse, you aren’t out there campaigning against it?

    what WAS the point of that little diatribe?

  8. sonofrojblake says

    “one wonders then, that since you are so familiar with this type of abuse, you aren’t out there campaigning against it?”

    Because I don’t give a shit about it. Pampered millionaires assaulting/being assaulted by other pampered millionaires? Get to the back of the queue.

  9. John Morales says

    In the news:

    Luis Rubiales could face a prison sentence of two and a half years if convicted of kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips against her will, court documents have shown. The former Spanish football federation chief has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one of coercion in the aftermath of the kiss, offences carrying jail terms of one year and 18 months respectively.

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