File photo of Jenni Hermoso
Women’s World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso returned to training with the Spanish national team on Monday for the first time since disgraced former president of the country’s football federation Luis Rubiales resigned. The 33-year-old has become a symbol in the fight against sexism and earned global support after Rubiales forcibly kissed her on the lips following Spain’s triumph in Sydney on August 20.
Hermoso took part in Spain’s training session at Las Rozas, on the outskirts of Madrid, applauded by scores of fans, including many children, who braved bad weather to support their idol.
Spain’s No 10, who plays for Pachuca in the Mexican league, was called up by coach Montse Tome for the two upcoming Nations League matches, in Italy on Friday and Switzerland on October 31.
The coach did not call up Hermoso for her first two matches at the helm saying it was “the best way to protect her” at a time when the federation was embroiled in crisis.
The decision was criticised by several players, including Hermoso herself, who asked: “Protect me from what, or from whom?”
Three weeks after the kiss, Rubiales resigned, and has been charged with “sexual assault” by a Spanish court and has been banned from coming within 200 metres of the player. Rubiales denies that the kiss was non-consensual.
Former coach Jorge Vilda was dismissed in the wake of the scandal at a time dozens of Spain players including Hermoso were on strike, demanding profound changes.
The players, the government and the RFEF signed a compromise agreement on Monday to set up a joint commission, acting on the arrangements reached to end the strike which involved the majority of the world champions in September.
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