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Jenni Hermoso is kissed by the president of the RFEF Luis Rubiales during the presentation ceremony of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia.

Noe Llamas / SPP

Will a kiss kick off Spain’s #MeToo?

FIFA has benched Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales for 90 days pending a disciplinary committee investigation of his conduct following Spain’s World Cup victory over England. Rubiales was suspended after he kissed star forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the presentation ceremony, provoking a storm of reaction from Hermoso, her team, the sporting world, and politicians.

While Rubiales initially claimed the kiss was consensual, “spontaneous” and “without any intention of bad faith,” last Monday he called it “a mistake.” That didn’t satisfy Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who said the apology for an “unacceptable gesture” was “not enough.” Yolanda Díaz, acting second deputy prime minister, called for Rubiales to resign. Spanish men’s international striker Borja Iglesias said he will not play for the national team “until things change,” and Hermoso’s teammates vowed not to play any more games as long as Rubiales remains as president.

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