Monday, August 28, 2023

The Smoking Gun That Clinched Pro-Women Justice In Spain

Posted by Peter Quennell

Watch the embattled soccer manager’s legs


At any moment now the top Spanish soccer manager could be out of a job.

Just over a week ago at the women’s world soccer cup final in Sydney, Luis Rubiales was much-videoed hugging some winning players. All other male officials merely cordially shook their hands.

When it came to the top scorer Jenni Hermoso, Rubiales held her head and aggressively planted a kiss - as she did not invite it, a possible sex crime under Spanish law.

As of last Friday the national soccer association had put out a fiery statement trying to prove that Jenni was the aggressor here and she DID in effect invite the kiss. Four images purported to show that SHE lifted HIM off his feet and the kiss was no more than an amused peck.

And in addressing the national association Rubiales repeatedly barked that he would not resign. Both he and the association issued legal threats.

Then a number of coaches and players resigned, and many womens-team supporters were marching in the streets of Madrid. 

And then today, after a five-hour closed meeting, the national association did a 180 degree turn, and insisted that Rubiales must resign.

What changed?

That newly emerged video above from someone in the crowd showed that Hermoso did not lift Rubiales up - in fact, he used her to push himself up into the air, and then landed and hugged and planted the kiss. So he lied.

If Rubiales still tries to hang on, FIFA could ban all Spanish teams from international play, and Spanish prosecutors could haul him to court.

Pesky things, cellphones, when one is breaking the rules.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/28/23 at 10:00 PM in Hoaxes Sollecito etc


Many or most of those vidoed applauding on Friday (some women included) have since reversed themselves. Yeah, well. Look before you leap. Kudos to FIFA by the way. Real gun at the head.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/29/23 at 02:35 PM | #

Wow! Avert your eyes, ye of chaste minds…

A couple of readers remark on how Rubiales seems to be simulating a sex act when widening his legs up in the air.

It is indeed much reported that a couple of minutes later he seemed to be trying to hide an erection when standing near the queen.

Horny beast.  The lowlife but readable Daily Mail (more heavily beamed at the US than other UK media, and soon our potential big friend re the Knox hoax) has this update on growing impatience with Rubiales.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/30/23 at 10:41 AM | #

Tuesday. Women’s coach Vilda has just been fired. Deputy coach Ms Montse Tomé takes his place.

Meanwhile, the Rubiales case drags on. He is really an administrator only, and it is hard to see what role if any he played in the Spanish ladies’ win.

Because he is top-dog with no board above him (a poor system) it’s proving hard to squeeze him out. FIFA may be the only body capable of that, and their final ruling (a possible 15 year ban) might take some weeks.

Meanwhile, things get worse and worse for him. He increasingly looks corrupt. Known for a while is that he probably accepted a bribe from the Saudis to organize a main game there.

Just out is that he bumped up the combined pay for himself and three colleagues from less than $2 million to around $7 million now.

The same guy that would not cave on paying the women players a bit more. The same guy that stonewalled every move to get on a par with the men.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/05/23 at 12:06 PM | #

Wednesday. Two more negative developments for the hapless administrator and coach fighting their numerous own-goals fallouts.

1. The player Jenni Hermoso who was forcibly kissed actually has filed charges against Rubiales with the police. He had stupidly and provocatively claimed she lied about her claimed non-consent and even made legal threats.

This makes three investigations, along with that of FIFA and and one initiated by Spain’s top criminal court [this one may now be voided, as that court had invited Hermoso to file a complaint with a prosecutor within a limited timeframe].

There is a lot of context to this, well-known in Spain, going back to the dictator Franco, when women were barely allowed to play sport at all. Sex crimes and ill-treatment were rampant until a major tightening up began half a dozen years ago. Spain now has very advanced law, a model others could learn from. One example:

This law-change hardening rape law is very key, as perps were getting light sentences if the victim had not put up a terrific fight; it could soon see Rubiales serving a prison term.

2. Sacked coach Jorge Vilda has emitted an extended whine. Seems in his mind he ONLY got to his feet and clapped Rubiales effusively Friday before last because he thought Rubiales was about to resign. He leaves out all his arrogance and cruelty against the women in recent years, and also not taking some of the best players to Aussie out of spite; that could have cost Spain the cup and did cost them a game, against Japan.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/06/23 at 03:21 PM | #

Wow. Yet another escalation. This was fast.

“Spanish prosecutor files ‘sexual assault and coercion’ complaint against Luis Rubiales over unwanted kiss on Spain star”

The coercion charge is about the increasingly abusive campaign of threats by Rubiales and others against Hermoso after she returned to Spain, in a failed attempt to get her to exonerate Rubiales. Real misfire. That could bother FIFA.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/08/23 at 10:44 AM | #

Spanish international women players have been starting at $17,000 a year. The men players start at nearly 20X that.

Spanish federation revenue is from ticket sales, franchises and branding, and the biggie now: media streaming, with revenue from around the world; the federation keeps the figures secret, seemingly for this reason:

While the women have been pulling in less total revenue than the men, it is certainly not 20X less. More in the 3X to 5X range. So on a grand scale they have been getting ripped off and the top managers and men players have gained.

The women are striking now for higher pay. If they can get their hands on those media streaming fees, that will be a game changer for sure.

The women have on their side almost all of the Spanish population. So good to see justice being carried out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/08/23 at 11:50 AM | #

On Sunday morning, a Rubiales resignation was first announced, controversially, in English, in an interview, with Piers Morgan, not even yet aired.

But late on Sunday, a letter of resignation was handed in to Rubiales’s interim replacement, Pedro Rocha.

More and more see how HE was mistreated? That seems kinda weird…  And he couldn’t continue his work? What work? He was suspended without pay and locked out, and still could face a 15 year ban, and prison.

So, rating the systems that came into play to correct for some pretty poor systems: so far, promising, but not yet done.

1. Spanish justice systems in this area as recently tightened up seem impressive, better than most in the world, a model others can use. The prosecutor’s investigation goes on.

2. The FIFA investigation still moves forward. But the women players’ strike for better conditions also still goes on. Is FIFA partly to blame here - for under-managing womens’ soccer worldwide?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/11/23 at 09:05 AM | #

Too many Americans and others have been led to believe that empowerment is just an attitude.

It isn’t. Empowerment is to be on top of one or more systems that work your way, and hopefully most peoples’ way.

Don’t drop the ball before the real job is done, as happens time and time again. Women especially please take note.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/11/23 at 10:03 AM | #

Tuesday. That amazing World Cup sure was empowering. The global interest in women’s soccer still surges, along with streaming media’s and investors’ and advertisers’ interests.

And in Spain, several more escalations which may have positive legal, financial and soccer management implications for women worldwide.

1. The national criminal court has accepted the case against Rubiales from the prosecutor (bad news for him) and has already issued subpoenas to the media for all videos.

2. In Der Spiegel women’s spokesperson Veronica Boquete, a former national captain, has charged that the Federation had phones hacked, and that hacked video from inside a changing room and a bus showing players laughing were both misleading as at other times the women were expressing outrage.

3. She also said that around 100 national players remain on strike because the pay & conditions issues are unresolved. They may or may not play their next international game on the 22nd against Sweden.

4. She was scathing of the fast appointment of Montsé Tomé as women’s coach to replace Jorge Vilda, as Tomé was an enabler of Vilda, and other coaches have more experience.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/12/23 at 08:58 AM | #

One unsung hero in all of this is live streaming media. Audience for the World Cup games was over 2 billion, not far short of the Men’s Cup in Qatar. All women’s games were live streamed in the US, on Fox Sports in English (with ads), and on NBC Peacock in Spanish (no ads).

NBC Peacock (intent on world domination in sports, they say half-jokingly!) will live-stream thousands of hours of the Olympics next year, every minute of every sport. Peacock is streaming world rugby 15s right now, because of which I just lost last Friday through Sunday :-(

Starting late this year in Rugby Sevens (which, due-warning, can cause addictions) men and women will play an equal number of games in the global HSBC series. As with the past two Olympics and with 2024 in Paris.

This doubling of world audiences in a short span is helping a lot more women’s teams and “backwater” teams develop an international audience. Kenya in Rugby Sevens is really hilarious, as are the Pacific Islanders.

Gotta love this international mingling, when foreign travel is still beyond the budget of most families.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/12/23 at 10:56 AM | #

Wednesday. Announced yesterday is that Rubiales is summoned to the national court on Friday for an interrogation by a judge.

The incels that are plaguing YouTube comments are wailing that it was JUST a kiss and nothing sexual about it at all, and all women are heading down a slippery slope.


The top criminal court is expected to observe that (1) ALL kisses on the mouth are sexual, (2) he pushed himself up hard on her shoulders unasked, and waived his legs in the air, (3) no cameras show that he paused and asked before the grab of the head and the kiss, (4) he hugged other women players too, unique among the officials on show, and (5) he was behind a dangerous campaign of insults and incitement that went on for a whole week.

And all Spain knows that he had zero record of helping the women’s teams, and did nothing to help them in their World Cup win.

Unknown is exactly what his wife and daughters think - and what his mother thinks now. He claims he wants the pressure to be off them. Here’s betting that in reality they are none too thrilled. He has disgraced the family and lost several high-paying jobs and must pay lawyers’ fees. Maybe with worse to come.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/13/23 at 03:05 PM | #

Thursday. The players’ strike for a higher minimum wage has succeeded and so their strike which cancelled two games already is called off.

The new minimum of the Euro equivalent of $22,500 does not seem like much compared to the men’s $195,000 but all players also receive club incomes and the new minimum will grow in line with overall income from streaming fees and ticket sales.

This is one of several issues that the departed Rubiales and ex-coach Vilda had spent years ignoring.

And Rubiales is to be in national criminal court tomorrow. 


Talks are still going on? The AP contradicts the earlier reporting about a done deal.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/14/23 at 08:29 AM | #

Friday. The Associated Press continues to report that the players’ strike is still on.

And Rubiales is right now in criminal court. There are two counts: the unconsented kiss and coercion (the subsequent take-no-prisoners campaign).

This is the stiff and very comprehensive 2022 Spanish law (under-reported in the US; it’s beyond what we see in the US but in line with a growing number of countries) covering all manner of sexual assaults.

In the last para it reminds that the five convicted only of abuse after a gang rape they videoed in 2016 and sentenced to 8 years had that verdict and sentence over-ruled by the Supreme Court.

Three are now serving 15 years for rape. The other two are serving 18 years and 3 months, for rape and two photos and seven videos placed online. Full narrative here.


The court hearing is done. It was closed to the public but Rubiales repeated his mantra that he had not done anything wrong. He said nothing as he left the court.

Hermoso’s lawyer, Carla Vall i Duran, said they were satisfied with the hearing.

“We can continue to affirm that the kiss was not consented to, which is what we have said from the very beginning,” Vall i Duran said. “Thanks to the (images of the kiss), the entire world, the entire country, has been able to observe there was no type of consent. And we are going to prove that in the courtroom.”

State prosecutors asked the judge to consider issuing a restraining order to prohibit Rubiales from coming within 500 meters (yards) or Hermoso or trying to communicate with her, as well as a requirement for him to check in with a court every 15 days to ensure he does not flee the country. The judge will have to decide whether to apply those measures.

And minutes after the hearing Reuters reported this.

An investigating judge at Spain’s High Court has imposed a restraining order to prevent former soccer chief Luis Rubiales approaching national team player Jenni Hermoso, after he appeared in court to be investigated for sexual assault for kissing her on the lips.

Next to come is whether the court will greenlight a formal investigation. If there is a trial Rubiales faces a fine or one to four years inside.

Also whether FIFA will issue a ban.

Piers Morgan interviewed Rubiales on Monday night. Rubiales talked his head off in Spanish, much of it exaggerated or untrue, but as Piers Morgan spoke no Spanish he was left looking a dill.


The incels on YouTube continue to yammer on (with some resistance) that this was JUST a kiss and everybody does it after a game.

They omit that it was uninvited and thus a crime under the 2022 law. Also in the World Cup series not one soccer official at any other match grabbed any of the women and kissed. Video shows all of them merely shaking hands.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/15/23 at 07:35 AM | #

Tuesday. A game of chicken is now going on.

New coach Montse Tomé has announced a team to play Sweden this Friday, and some players have turned up in Madrid for camp, not others.

As an appointee and seeming enabler of fired coach Vilda she is not especially popular, and may not have the weight to assemble a full team.

Hermoso the complainant against Rubiales has claimed that the Federation has threatened players as the reason some turned up, though there is an actual Spanish sports law that men and women players must turn up if picked at national level or face long-term hurt.

Since Friday, no further word from the judge who will decide whether Rubiales will face trial.

And behind the scenes, negotiation over the demands goes on. Most of the Spanish public is on their side.

What FIFA does next about Rubiales matters a lot. From the day of the win in Sydney it gave itself 90 days.

Some commenters on YouTube splutter that this is all too much “just” for a kiss. No, the kiss was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back. What happened before and after are the real big deals. 

Lot of interest among other national teams and publics around the world. Though the Spanish players had it worst, many others could use some systems-change, including law-change and pay-change, and a push against plutocrats worldwide has been overdue.


And Rubiales takes yet another hit. Spanish justice grinds him down. Clemente was the Spain national men’s team coach during the 1990s, far from the only one in men’s soccer to take the women’s side.

A Spanish court has dismissed a lawsuit by disgraced ex-soccer federation chief Luis Rubiales against coach Javier Clemente who had called Rubiales a “dangerous and ambitious guy” seeking “to get rich”, qualifying his comments as free speech. In its ruling seen by Reuters on Monday and dated Sept. 1 - amid an unrelated scandal over Rubiales’ behaviour at the Women’s World Cup last month - the Madrid court said that “we are dealing with a pure exercise of the right to freely express an opinion about a person who, moreover, is a public figure”.


One new report says that only THREE of the players is a sure thing (at this minute!) to play the Swedes. Looks like replacing Montse Tomé could be added to the players’ demands. She was not their choice, and not the best available coach, and seems to have a tin ear.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/19/23 at 08:22 AM | #

Wednesday. Looks like it might be a win for the women players at last, though no details yet, after a seven-hour negotiation.

“The players have expressed their concern about the need for profound changes in the RFEF (Spanish Football Federation), which has committed to making these changes immediately,” said Spain’s National Sports Council (CSD) president, Victor Francos.

“It is the beginning of a long road ahead of us,” Futpro - the players’ union - president Amanda Gutierrez said. “Once again, they [the players] have shown themselves to be coherent, and the vast majority have decided to stay for the sake of this agreement.”

A joint commission is to be set up to oversee changes and “follow up on agreements” from the meeting, though it was not confirmed what those agreements were.

The women are back to playing Sweden. That will be a sellout match for sure.


The Spanish team (and many others) did sell out every seat at every game at the Australia World Cup of course. The levels of skill and excitement seemed the same (to us less-initiated!) as at the men’s Qatar matches. Streaming is proving a real leveler.


Women have also quietly had a big gain in Rugby Sevens, an electric sport. They have played at the past two Olympics, and the crowd sizes have been gaining. But in the annual HSBC World Series they have always played at 1/3 fewer venues than the men. However where they were not on the schedule the excitement and viewership were diminishing. Now from this December in the 2024 season women’s teams will always play at every venue.

Unlike Spain, where law was required to level the playing field, still ongoing, this was all about audience demand and growing followings of some rather watchable players. Recommended. Some soccer and all rugby are viewable mostly worldwide on NBC Peacock, as with all of the 2024 Paris Olympics.


Quite a day in Spain after the 7-hours-long negotiation in Valencia that went on past midnight.

Today, a further firing, of the Federation Secretary, with 6 to 8 more more to come, including coach Montse Tome. 

Many or most of them had been nationally televised clapping Rubiales repeatedly during his ranting speech a couple of weeks ago.

Montse Tome had just yesterday claimed that she only clapped Rubiales once, at the end, and was confused and not feeling well, But the video is clear: she stood and clapped him 6 or 7 times as he trashed Hermoso and other players.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/20/23 at 10:44 AM | #

Friday. The Spanish team won. They beat Sweden 3 to 2.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/22/23 at 04:02 PM | #
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page

Or to next entry American Woman Kills In Jealous Rage… Does This Ring A Bell?

Or to previous entry This Manhattan Architect Was Charged Today As A Suspected Serial Killer