Spain World Cup star Hermoso hopes for positive change following kiss scandal

Hermoso scored the winner against Italy in the Nations League on her return to the national team for the first time since the incident

By Reuters

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Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso. — Reuters
Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso. — Reuters

Published: Tue 7 Nov 2023, 1:19 PM

Jenni Hermoso said she hoped something good would come out of the kiss scandal involving former Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales at the Women's World Cup.

Rubiales has been banned from all football-related activities for three years by Fifa following the allegedly non-consensual kiss he gave Hermoso at the final in August.

He has said he will use his right to appeal, accusing Fifa of not giving him the chance to defend himself.

Rubiales has repeatedly said the kiss was consensual, while Hermoso says it was forced on her.

The scandal not only overshadowed the team's World Cup triumph, but snowballed into a "Me Too" moment that had been building for years.

When asked how she wanted to be remembered, Hermoso told GQSpain: "As someone who has wanted to leave Spain at the top but, above all, as someone who has tried to change many mentalities."

The hashtag #SeAcabo, which means 'It's over' in Spanish, has become a mantra for those calling for change.

"Fortunately or unfortunately, there is this story, but I am going to learn to take advantage of it positively to fight for what I believe is good for society. The #SeAcabo movement must bring a new era," the 33-year-old said.

Hermoso scored a last-gasp winner against Italy in the Nations League last month on her return to the national team for the first time since the incident.

"These months, with everything that has happened, my mind has wandered a little from football. At times, I didn't remember that I was a footballer. But I go back to training, to a field, to putting on the uniform, and I want to give my best version again," Hermoso said.

"In the race to the Olympic Games, in my team in Mexico, in the national team. I will continue enjoying this sport."

Hermoso said it had been a difficult period for her and that she continues to work with her psychologist.

"I've had to assume the consequences of an act that I did not provoke, that I had not chosen or premeditated," she added. "I have received threats, and that is something you never get used to."

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