Andres Iniesta, a legend in Spanish and Barcelona football history, has strongly criticized Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), for his recent actions during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final held in Australia.
Rubiales had engaged in a forceful kiss with Spanish striker Jenni Hermoso amid the celebrations after Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in the Women’s World Cup final. While Rubiales later apologized for his behaviour, he remained steadfast in his refusal to step down from his position, despite mounting calls for his resignation. In a recent speech, he denounced what he perceived as unjust campaigns and “fake feminism.”
Andres Iniesta, a member of the Spanish men’s national team that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup, expressed his deep disappointment in a tweet on Sunday. In his message, Iniesta conveyed his sadness as an individual, a father of three daughters, a husband, and a football player, in light of the unfolding events involving Spanish football and the national women’s team.
He condemned the incidents that have transpired, stating that they have marred a significant achievement like winning a World Cup. Iniesta empathized with the players of the national team, who he believed were being overshadowed by the controversy instead of being celebrated for their fantastic tournament and the remarkable football they showcased. He expressed regret that a beautiful narrative constructed by many players over the years had been tarnished.
Iniesta pointedly criticized President Rubiales for clinging to his position and failing to acknowledge the unacceptability of his behaviour. He emphasized that Rubiales’ actions were not only harming the country’s image but also the reputation of its football on a global scale.
In the midst of this, FIFA responded on Friday by imposing a three-month suspension on Rubiales, barring him from participating in any football-related activities during this period.
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