Watch the moment Luis Rubiales appears to lift himself into the arms of Jenni Hermoso, disproving claims made by the Spanish FA in the wake of his controversial kiss during the aftermath of the World Cup final.
The conduct of Mr Rubiales, president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), has been under major scrutiny since he kissed Ms Hermoso, Spain’s 33-year-old forward, on the lips at the final’s medal ceremony in Sydney.
What has followed has been a series of claims and counter arguments, as well as a 90-day ban from all-football activity for Rubiales, delivered by FIFA’s disciplinary committee.
Earlier this week, in a widely condemned statement, Spain’s football federation published a string of photographs that it suggested showed Ms Hermoso instigated a clinch with Mr Rubiales during the ceremony and consented to being kissed.
But new footage now looks to have rubbished those claims with it apparant that Rubiales looks to jump into the arms of Hermoso, rather than her lifting him from the ground.
New footage has shown Luis Rubiales lifting his own weight off the ground (left) and into the arms of Jenni Hermoso, which goes against claims by the Spanish FA that she picked him up
Rubiales has been banned by FIFA’s disciplinary committee for an initial 90 days following his conduct after the Women’s World Cup final, which saw him kiss Hermoso on the lips
Your browser does not support iframes.
Footage taken from the crowd and showing a wider shot of the Hermoso-Rubiales interaction shows Rubiales lifting his own weight off the ground, and thus disproving the claims of the FA.
Those claims consisted of an 800-word statement and four images in the early hours of Friday morning which bizarrely claimed that Mr Rubiales’ account – which claimed the kiss was consensual – was ‘absolutely true’ – despite the fact the images did not show the kiss at all.
In a description accompanying one of the photos, the federation claimed that Mr Rubiales was forced to hold on to Ms Hermoso ‘so as not to fall’ and that ‘it is evident that the arching of the player’s body corresponds to the lifting force of Mr President’.
‘The feet of Mr President are ostensibly raised off the ground as a result of the player’s action,’ it added. ‘The evidence is conclusive. Mr President has not lied.
‘The RFEF and Mr President will demonstrate each of the lies that are spread either by someone on behalf of the player or, if applicable, by the player herself.’
But the footage evidently shows that Rubiales has lifted himself off the ground on his own accord.
During a defiant press conference on Friday, Mr Rubiales claimed he asked Ms Hermoso for ‘a little peck’ after she ‘lifted me up’. To the applause of other football bosses, Rubiales repeatedly shouted: ‘I will not resign!’
But his rant provoked Ms Hermoso to issue her own statement in which she stressed that ‘at no time did I consent to the kiss that he gave me’.
And in an extraordinary mutiny, 23 players of Spain’s World Cup-winning squad, as well as 32 other squad members, then said they will not play for their country again while Rubiales remained in charge.
Jenni Hermoso released a lengthy statement on social media in response to the incident
On Tuesday, the UN Human Rights Office had their say, rallying behind Hermoso and ‘all those working to end abuse and sexism in sport’.
‘Women in sport continue to face sexual harassment and abuse – every one of us has the responsibility to call out and challenge such abuse,’ UN Human Rights tweeted.
‘We join Spain’s Jenni Hermoso and all those working to end abuse and sexism in sport. Make this a turning point.’
Sources involved in the disciplinary process have told Mail Sport that FIFA are pushing for a ban of up to 15 years for Rubiales – the maximum permitted by their statutes.
Should this be approved, the governing body would be allowed to take action against Spanish national sides and clubs if the judgment is contested.
Following a five-hour meeting on Monday, the Spanish FA confirmed they had now asked Rubiales to step down.
The UN Human Rights Office rallied behind the Women’s World Cup star and ‘all those working to end abuse and sexism in sport’ in a statement over social media on Tuesday morning
The Spanish FA have performed a U-turn – asking the president to resign with immediate effect
In another remarkable development on Monday, it emerged that one of Rubiales’ final acts before his suspension last Friday was instructing the Spanish FA to write to UEFA complaining of government interference and asking for the federation to be suspended, which would mean their national teams and clubs would be automatically barred from European competitions.
UEFA rejected the request, however, as the disciplinary process is being handled by FIFA, and now consider the letter to be invalid as Rubiales has since been replaced by an interim president, Pedro Rocha.
FIFA are likely to impose a lengthy ban on Rubiales after being embarrassed by his behaviour following the World Cup final in Sydney, where he also grabbed his crotch despite being just metres away from Spain’s Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter.
All the while, Rubiales’ mother, Angeles Bejar, has said she is prepared to die for her son after she began a hunger strike in a church near Malaga in protest of the accusations against him.
THE SPANISH FA’S ATTEMPT TO BLAME HERMOSO FOR ‘KISS-GATE’
The RFEF argue that Rubiales’ arms are only loosely on Hermoso’s back in this photo, meaning he could ‘exert no force’, and that his heels are raised
The above image shows Rubiales smiling as he embraces Hermoso, with one hand on top of her head and the other on her back.
In explanation, the RFEF states: ‘Ms. Jennifer Hermoso, with her arms, grabs the RFEF President from behind, while Mr. President has his arms loose on the upper part of the player’s back. Therefore, no force could exert.
‘You can see how Mr. President has the heels of his feet raised slightly.’
Here, the RFEF maintains that Hermoso keeps her arms around the president and that his heels are raised. Only one of Hermoso’s arms and one of Rubiales’ feet are visible
In the second image, Rubiales’ upper arm has moved lower down Hermoso’s head.
The RFEF explains: ‘Ms. Jennifer Hermoso keeps her arms around Mr. President’s back. Mr. President keeps his arms on top of the player’s body.
‘It is verified how Mr. President already has much higher heels.’
Only one of Rubiales’ feet is visible in the photo.
The RFEF writes that ‘Mr. President’s feet are clearly and manifestly lifted off the ground as a result of the action of force carried out by the player’
This third image, with Rubiales lifted off the ground, is where the RFEF’s statement ramps up in vehemence and attributes responsibility to Hermoso.
The RFEF states: ‘Mrs. Jennifer Hermoso continues to keep her arms in the same position as the president’s body while the president must bring his arms closer to the player’s back as a result of having lifted him off the ground and to maintain balance.
‘The inclination of the back of Mrs. Jennifer Hermoso that occurs when she is performing an action of force is indisputable.
‘Mr. President’s feet are clearly and manifestly lifted off the ground as a result of the action of force carried out by the player.’
The RFEF maintains its stance in the final photo, where Rubiales is still lifted off the ground
For this final photo provided, the RFEF explains: ‘Mrs. Jennifer Hermoso continues to keep her arms in the same position as the president’s body while the president must continue to hold on to the players so as not to fall and it is evident that the arching of the player’s body corresponds to the lifting force of Mr. President you are performing.
‘The feet of Mr. President are ostensibly raised off the ground as a result of the player’s action.
Hermoso has received support from all corners of the football community amid thwe controversy.
England’s Lionesses released a statement condemning Rubiales, saying: ‘Unacceptable actions allowed to happen by a sexist and patriarchal organisation.
‘Abuse is abuse and we have all seen the truth. The behaviour of those who think they are invincible must not be tolerated and people shouldn’t take any convincing to take action against any form of harassment.
‘We stand with you, Jenni Hermoso.’
Alexis Putellas, a two-time Ballon d’Or winner, and World Cup-winning team-mates Cata Coll, Aitana Bonmati and Irene Paredes all spoke out publicly in defence of Hermoso, too.
Cata Coll, Spain’s goalkeeper in the final, wrote: ‘What a pity it gives me that 23 soccer players are not the protagonists… it’s over! With you to death Jenni Hermoso’.
Fellow Spanish player, Patricia Guijarro, who was one of 15 players to voice opposition to head coach Jorge Vilda last year and was not picked for the World Cup, tweeted: ‘It’s over. With you @jennihermoso. Unfortunate to reach this point to believe that the complaints from months ago were real.’
Barcelona and Norway player Caroline Hansen said: ‘@jennihermoso with you! This is all lies. We all see what really happened’.
Swiss star and Barcelona player Ana-Maria Crnogorčević took a more vehement approach: ‘I’m freaking out.. it’s over. F*** this bulls**t, f**k all this f**king lies. This is insane… With you Jenni always.’
IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!
It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.
It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify
Your browser does not support iframes.