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The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

Luis Rubiales officially resigns as Spanish soccer president

Manu Fernandez for AP News
Former football president Luis Rubiales currently faces potential fines or jail time and has caused worldwide hysteria for his inappropriate actions toward football player Jenni Hermoso. Up until his resignation September 10, prominent leaders and courageous female players spoke out against Rubiales. Ever since the incident, Spain has experienced nationwide protests reminiscent of the #MeToo movement and growing critiques regarding the wage gap between male and female football players.

Beginning July 20 and ending August 20, 2023, fans from around the globe cheered for their favorite players and their home countries as the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) Women’s World Cup broadcasted from Australian and New Zealand stadiums. As France brutally swept Morocco with a final score of 4-0 and the USA lost to Sweden due to penalties, all of the tournament’s tension and nail-biting performances resulted in Spain taking home their first Women’s World Cup trophy. However, headlines did not focus on their historical win or the MVP of the tournament Aitana Bonmatí; instead, headlines drew attention to the inappropriate moment when Spanish football president Luis Rubiales kissed one of his players on stage nonconsensually. 

September 10, Rubiales officially resigned from his role as head of the Spanish soccer federation; yet, this occurred after weeks of constant backlash and criticism from female players and other football officials for his actions. During the trophy ceremony, Rubiales sparked outrage around the world for kissing football player Jenni Hermoso on the lips, as Hermoso immediately stated that she felt uncomfortable. The former football president continued to garner attention for his disruptive behavior due to his slamming negative media coverage as false feminism, and up until his resignation he claimed that both parties consented to the kiss. 

“I understand that Luis Rubiales may have done this action out of pure excitement and adrenaline, and this is expected after winning a great match. However, the evidence in the case states that it was non-consensual and him getting sued is expected,” magnet senior Ndiya Onuoha said. 

The uncomfortable moment broadcasted during the Women’s World Cup sparked activism across Spain; in the weeks leading up to Rubiales’ resignation, hundreds of activists gathered together in Madrid, their chants echoing through the beloved city.  As experts have compared the movements to #MeToo, Spanish football players started igniting their own forms of protests. Due to the harsh wage gap between male and female football players, the Spanish women’s league went on strike and refused to play until Rubiales resigned. FIFA also suspended the former president from all football-related activities at national and international levels for 90 days, and Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez described Rubiales’ actions as inappropriate.

During this drastic fallout between Spain’s female players and their football federation, Spain’s women’s soccer coach Jorge Vilda stepped down from his position. Even before the kissing scandal, Vilda already brewed controversy amongst his players as he allegedly generated a culture of sexism within the program and his controversial coaching style resulted in protests in late 2022.

Rubiales continues to face severe repercussions for his actions and could potentially face time behind bars. According to a sexual consent law passed in Spain last year, the law eliminated the difference between sexual harassment and sexual assault. Rubiales will either pay a fine or spend one to four years in prison if found guilty. 

September 15, Spain’s national court mandated a restraining order between Rubiales and Hermoso of 200 meters. Rubiales’ entire career fell due to one broadcasted moment, and the former president recently sold his house amid growing legal fees.

“It’s pretty sad to see that the Women’s Spain national team’s incredible triumph in the World Cup was overshadowed by Rubiales’ actions during the trophy lift. And what made it worse was that the Spanish Football Association defended Rubiales which made the situation worse. I’m glad to see Rubiales resign but the damage has already been done,” South Cobb High School senior Daniel Rojo said. 

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About the Contributor
Ivan Mendoza
Ivan Mendoza, Page Editor
Ivan Mendoza is a senior at NC and has been a part of The Chant staff since 2022. Since his adolescence, he always pursued reading and writing and felt that The Chant provided the perfect outlet for him to write about whatever he wanted. From music reviews to thorough investigations to award-winning documentaries, Mendoza is not afraid to expose his thoughts and opinions on the world around him. Whenever he’s not writing for The Chant, Mendoza is either filming a video, biking or wasting his entire paycheck on amazing novels, memoirs or superb vinyls. Find him on Instagram at @ivans.interludes.  

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