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Spain: Football chief Rubiales’ mother goes on hunger strike inside church over kiss row involving her son

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The mother of suspended Spanish Football Federation’s president Luis Rubiales, Angeles Bejar, locked herself in a church in the town of Motril, in Granada, and went on hunger strike to protest against her son’s treatment after he kissed a player on the lips at the Women’s World Cup final, as can be seen in the footage filmed on Tuesday.

Footage shows journalists filming, and neighbours waiting outside the church in southern Spain and commenting on the kissing row.

« We want to support a mother who sees an injustice being done to her son. Just like this woman, there are many mothers who have suffered many injustices where their children have been wrongly accused. I believe that all media outlets have caused a lot of harm, not only to this family but to the entire women’s football team. They have turned one victim into 22 victims, » said the President of the Transport Association who tried to enter the church to support Rubiales’ mother.

A friend of Luis Rubiales’ mother and a Motril neighbour, named Maria commented « If I were in her place, I would also defend my son at all costs because he hasn’t done anything wrong. »

Football chief Rubiales kissed national team player Jenni Hermoso after Spain’s victory in the Women’s FIFA World Cup, which she claims was non-consensual.

« A joke is being made out of something very serious, not just the kiss but everything it signifies. It has been an inappropriate behaviour for the position being held. All of this is causing a lot of damage to the image of feminism, » said a neighbour.

Spanish Minister for Sport Miquel Iceta said on Tuesday that the government has brought a process for suspension against Luis Rubiales.

Earlier, Spanish prosecutors initiated a preliminary investigation into whether Rubiales’ kiss could constitute sexual assault.

Rubiales himself, who has been suspended by FIFA, has insisted he won’t resign and described the kiss as ‘mutual and consensual’.

Meanwhile, the Spanish football federation (RFEF) has indicated its support for Rubiales, and has threatened legal action against player Jenni Hermoso for defamation.

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