Barcelona star Alexia Putellas tears into RFEF over Rubiales kiss scandal: ‘System and country failed’
Luis Rubiales triggered a huge row after kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the World Cup.
Spain was jolted after Luis Rubiales, the country's former football federation president, kissed a player during the women’s World Cup awards ceremony in Sydney. Rubiales kissed midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips in an incident that exposed all that’s rotten in Spanish football.
Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas has now blasted the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for its treatment of the national team footballers in the past few years. The 29-year-old even recalled her painful experience of travelling for six or seven hours by bus.
"Zero tolerance for what the entire world saw. Zero tolerance for the things which haven’t been seen because they weren’t live and we cannot talk about them as there’s an ongoing legal procedure. The system failed. The Federation failed, and the country failed,” Putellas told the reporters.
"They made us travel six or seven hours by bus while the rival comfortably flew. We had to wake up at three in the morning to catch a plane and those schedules are not suitable for elite athletes. You have just seen this, but we have been for years in this situation,” the Barcelona player added.
Spanish football was rocked for almost a month by the controversial incident between Rubiales and Hermoso. A majority of Spanish footballers had even threatened to not represent the national team during the Women’s Nations League. The dispute was, eventually, solved earlier this week after the football team and RFEF came to agreement. Following this, 21 of the 23 Spanish players selected in the squad for the UEFA Women’s Nations League matches agreed to play and travel with the team to Sweden.
“They [the negotiators] told us that among the things they agreed to were to not sanction us, and then we made the decision to stay, not because we’re exactly comfortable – all the things that happened a month ago, how they called us up to the squad – but we have stayed because we think it’s what we have to do so that the agreements go forward and for this to go forward,” said Spanish defender Irene Paredes, as per CNN.
The Spanish women’s football team earned a thrilling 2-3 victory over Sweden in the UEFA Nations League. The fixture against Sweden marked Spain’s first encounter since beating England 1-0 in the FIFA World Cup final in Sydney last month.
Both the Swedish and Spanish footballers stood in solidarity before their game. The footballers also held a banner which read in Spanish "Se Acabo" with "Our fight is the global fight" written in English. The Spanish team scored from a penalty kick in the injury time to earn a spectacular win.