Spain’s Soccer Coach Apologizes for Supporting Luis Rubiales and Asks for Forgiveness

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Initially, the coach of the Spanish men’s football team had endorsed the president of the country’s football federation.

Luis de la Fuente, the coach of the Spanish men’s national team, apologized for applauding the claim by Luis Rubiales that he was the victim of a smear campaign from “false feminists” following an uproar after he kissed a player on the lips at the Women’s World Cup. Luis de la Fuente said in Madrid in his first public appearance since Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso after the final in Sydney, Australia. “I made a human error. It was inexcusable.”
Rubiales’ speech included claims that Hermoso had consented to his kiss during the awards ceremony – a claim she has denied – and against what he called the “scourge” of feminism in Spain.¹ Spain’s Acting Deputy Prime Minister, Yolanda Díaz, said De la Fuente and women’s national team coach Jorge Vilda were “not fit to hold” their posts.
FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, provisionally suspend Rubiales for 90 days a day after his speech. Hours after his boss was suspended, De la Fuente issued a statement condemning Rubiales’ behaviour.
Interim federation president Pedro Rocha has said the federation completely backs De la Fuente. Rocha, however, did not give Vilda the same backing. He said on Thursday that Vilda’s future would be decided after a meeting at the federation next week. Most of Vilda’s staff have resigned. While the entire women’s team plus a dozen other players have said they will not play again for Spain as long as Rubiales’ remains in charge, only one male player, Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias, has said he won’t play for his nation again until “things change.”
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