By Ella Peeples || Contributing Writer

August 20th, 2023. The final match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Spain vs. England. Both teams had never made it to the Women’s World Cup final. Both teams were making history. Only one could win. It all came down to a goal from Olga Carmona, assisted by Mariona Caldentey. The score is 1-0, Spain the victor. Spain’s first Women’s World Cup win is cemented into history. 

A team member said, “It is impressive what we have done, and I just hope that everyone is just as proud in Spain as we are.” The victorious team stood on the podium, ready to receive their trophy. During the presentation ceremony, one of Spain’s midfielders, Jenni Hermoso, received a non-consensual kiss from Luis Rubiales, president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation. 

In the wake of the kiss, an outpouring of support has flooded in. The FIFA organization has barred Rubiales from all activities while they conduct an internal investigation. The Spanish men’s soccer team captain Alvaro Morata called Rubiales’s actions “unacceptable behavior” while expressing the team’s support for Jenni Hermoso. Spain’s Sport Administrative Tribunal has opened an investigation against Rubiales for “serious misconduct.” Hermoso and her 22 teammates have announced that they will not play for the national team until Rubiales quits. Hermoso has also filed a criminal complaint of sexual assault against Rubiales for the unsolicited kiss. 

Despite this pressure and his suspension, Rubiales refuses to resign from his position. He released a statement claiming, “I surely made a mistake, I have to recognize that,” but continues to insist that “there was no bad faith between either of the two of us.” This apology was unsatisfactory for some, with Spain’s Prime Minister saying, “Rubiales’ apologies are not enough, I even think they are not adequate. He has to continue taking steps to clarify what we all saw.” 

More recently, on September 5th, the Royal Spanish Football Federation announced in a statement that they had parted ways with Spanish coach Jorge Vilda, thanking him for “[being] key to the notable growth in women’s football.” Vilda was likely fired due to his allegiance to Rubiales, one of many men who applauded the president for refusing to step down amid the scandal. In the wake of

Vilda’s termination, the Royal Spanish Football Federation has promoted former assistant coach Montse Tomé into the head coach position. She is the first female to hold this position. In the next few weeks, Spain will begin the 2024 Euro qualifiers under their new head coach, Spanish criminal courts will proceed with Hermoso’s sexual assault case, and the watching world will await further developments on the status of Rubiales’ positions within FIFA and the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

Update as of Sunday September 10, 2023: Luis Rubiales has resigned as president of Spain’s soccer federation. Read more here.

Junior Ella Peeples is a contributing writer. Her email is