A Spanish striker is boycotting the national team in protest against FA president Luis Rubiales.
Rubiales has faced growing calls from across sport and politics to resign from his post running Spanish football after his behaviour at the Women’s World Cup final, where he grabbed his crotch in an aggressive celebration and forcefully kissed one of the players, Jenni Hermoso, on the lips.
He was expected to step down in a press conference on Friday morning but instead declared he would not resign, blamed Hermoso for the kiss and hit out at “false feminism”.
Borja Iglesias, 30, who plays for Real Betis and has made two appearances for the Spanish national team, declared on social media that he would no longer put himself forwards for selection until “this type of act does not go unpunished”.
“I am sad and disappointed,” Iglesias said. “As a footballer and as a person I don’t feel represented by what happened today.
“Wearing the Spanish national team shirt is one of the greatest things that has happened to me in my career. I don’t know if at some point I will be selected again, but I have made the decision not to return to the national team until things change and this type of act does not go unpunished.
“For a fairer, more humane and decent football,” he added.
Luis Rubiales has been criticised for his actions at the World Cup (AP)
Iglesias joins a raft of figures inside and outside football to condemn Rubiales behaviour at the World Cup and subsequent reaction to the storm.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti was asked about Rubiales in a press conference on Friday. “As a citizen, I did not like Rubiales’ behaviour,” he said.
The deputy prime minister Yolanda Diaz added to the prime minister’s criticisms, saying: “Impunity for macho actions is over.”
Spanish sports council is now set to begin a disciplinary process by sending four official complaints against Rubiales to the Spanish Administrative Court for Sports. The council could in the meantime choose to suspend him from his role as FA president.
Rubiales is also is a Uefa vice-president and a member of its ruling executive committee. Uefa is yet to comment on the matter. Fifa has opened an investigation.