Cadiz, Sevilla supports woman player kissed by Spanish federation boss before games

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Players from Cadiz and Sevilla showed their solidarity with the Spain Women’s World Cup champion who was kissed by the now-suspended president of the national federation before their respective home games on Saturday.

Spain has been in an uproar since Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the awards ceremony following the World Cup final in Sydney last weekend.

Cadiz’s players held up a banner saying “We Are All With Jenni” before its Spanish league match against Almeria, becoming the first men's team to make a public statement in favor of Hermoso.

"The club did what it was supposed to do, which was to send a message of unity for men's and women's soccer,” Cadiz player Luis Hernández said.

Before hosting Girona, Sevilla’s player wore T-shirts with the message “This is over,” echoing a message in rejection of Rubiales that was started by Hermoso’s teammate and two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas on social media. The crowd also chanted “This is over.”

Hermoso attended a preseason match for Atletico Madrid, the club where the forward started her long and successful career. She received an ovation from the crowd.

Earlier, FIFA moved to temporarily suspend Rubiales a day after he said he would not resign amid mounting pressure from Spain’s government, players’ unions and some clubs and players for him to go.

Sevilla was one of the first Spanish clubs to say publicly in a statement that Rubiales cannot remain in charge of Spanish soccer.

Girona won 2-1 with Aleix García scoring the 56th-minute winner, dealing Sevilla its fourth defeat in as many games.

Barcelona, Real Madrid, Osasuna, Valencia, Celta Vigo, Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol are also among the clubs who have sided with the government, which has asked a court to have Rubiales deemed unfit to hold his office.

Rubiales defended his actions on Friday, saying the kiss was “consensual.” Hermoso said that was false and she felt assaulted.

Cadiz drew with 10-man Almeria 1-1 after Almeria defender Kaiky scored in stoppage time.

Also, Granada beat Mallorca 3-2 at home for the promoted club's first win.


AP soccer:

Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press