The mother of Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales, who has faced backlash for his unsolicited kiss on player Jenni Hermoso, locked herself inside a church and announced a hunger strike to protest against her son’s “inhumane treatment”, Spain’s EFE news agency reported.
Angeles Bejar said her strike would last “until a solution is found to the inhumane and bloody hunt they are carrying out against my son with something he does not deserve”, according to the report on Monday.
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Rubiales was suspended on Saturday by FIFA almost a week after his unsolicited kiss on the mouth of the national team star during the awards ceremony following Spain’s Women’s World Cup win in Sydney.
According to EFE, Bejar stayed inside the parish church of Divina Pastora in Rubiales’s hometown in southern Spain, Motril, with her sister after the parish priest left.
She asked Hermoso to tell the truth and “stick to the version she gave at the beginning”, EFE added.
“There is no sexual abuse since there is consent on both sides, as the images prove,” Bejar told EFE as she questioned “why they’re taking it out on him” and what “is behind this whole story”.
“My son is incapable of hurting anyone,” Bejar said.
Rubiales, 46, has been defiant over the kiss – which has been condemned as unwanted by Hermoso, her teammates and the Spanish government – arguing it was consensual.
At a federation meeting on Friday where he had been widely expected to step down, Rubiales instead refused to quit, seeking to defend his behaviour and calling the kiss “spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consensual”.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has issued a statement for him, saying Rubiales “will defend himself legally in the competent bodies” to prove “his complete innocence”.
Hermoso said she did not consent to the kiss and felt “vulnerable and the victim of an aggression”.