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Mother of Spanish Soccer's Luis Rubiales Hospitalized amid Hunger Strike Over His Suspension

Angeles Bejar began her hunger strike inside the Divina Pastora church in Motril, Spain on Monday in protest of her son's suspension by FIFA

The mother of Spanish soccer president Luis Rubiales was reportedly taken to the hospital on the third day of her hunger strike in protest of FIFA's decision to suspend her son for 90 days after he kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips at the World Cup final.

Angeles Bejar announced her decision to go on a hunger strike while locking herself in the Divina Pastora church on Monday, and according to Reuters, Bejar was admitted to the Santa Ana hospital in Motril, Spain, near where she raised Rubiales, 46.

A local priest who identified himself as Father Antonio told reporters that Bejar was feeling "tired and stressed out" during the solo strike, leading to her hospitalization on Wednesday evening.

According to Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo, Bejar, a retired hairdresser, was expected to give a conference regarding her strike before falling ill.

"She had not been feeling well because of the heat and everything else," the priest told reporters, per Mundo Deportivo. "Her feet had become swollen and she was very tired."

<p>Richard Callis / SPP/Sipa USA via AP</p> Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) President Luis Rubiales kisses Jenni Hermoso after Spain win the FIFA Womens World Cup 2023 final football match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia

Richard Callis / SPP/Sipa USA via AP

Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) President Luis Rubiales kisses Jenni Hermoso after Spain win the FIFA Womens World Cup 2023 final football match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia

Father Antonio added that Bejar "had also become very nervous" amid the situation and said he wasn't sure if she was transported to the hospital via ambulance or not.

The priest also relayed that Bejar will not return to the church, even if her health improved, Reuters reported.

Prior to her medical emergency, Bejar said she would protest her son's suspension "as long as my body holds out," in a message on WhatsApp, according to the Spanish outlet. She added, "I don’t mind dying for justice because my son is a decent person and it’s not fair what they’re doing.”

On Aug. 20, after Spain's first-ever FIFA Women's World Cup win, Rubiales grabbed Hermoso, 33, by her face and kissed her on the lips. Rubiales was also seen in videos kissing several other players on the face during their celebration and grabbing his crotch in the crowd after the team’s win.

Related: Spain’s Women’s Soccer Team Refuses to Play Until President Resigns for World Cup Kiss

Despite multiple reports that he would agree to his resignation, Rubiales refused to step down at an emergency assembly.

"I've come under a lot of pressure. Perhaps somebody will look to remove me on Monday. But we live in a country of laws. Is a consensual kiss enough to remove me? I'm going to fight until the end. I hope the law is followed, and that as there's no reason to [remove me], it won't happen," he said during his speech to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), per ESPN.

<p>Europa Press via AP</p> The president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, gives a press conference at the Extraordinary General Assembly

Europa Press via AP

The president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, gives a press conference at the Extraordinary General Assembly

FIFA issued a statement confirming that Rubiales will face a 90-day suspension barring him "from all football-related activities at national and international level," beginning Saturday.

Rubiales was also told "to refrain, through himself or third parties, from contacting or attempting to contact the professional player of the Spanish national football team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso or her close environment," per FIFA's statement.

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Hermoso issued her own statement Friday on Twitter, now known as X, writing in Spanish that “in no moment did I consent to the kiss that he gave me and in no moment did I try to pick up the president,” according to PBS.

<p>Catherine Ivill/Getty</p> Luis Rubiales, President of the Royal Spanish Federation greets Aitana Bonmati of Spain after the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Final match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia

Catherine Ivill/Getty

Luis Rubiales, President of the Royal Spanish Federation greets Aitana Bonmati of Spain after the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Final match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia

"Simply put, I was not respected," she wrote. "I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part."

Hermoso added that she had been pressured to release "a joint statement" that "could justify" the president's actions. "Under no circumstances can it be my responsibility to bear the consequences of conveying something I do not believe in, which is why I have refused the pressures received," she wrote.

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