Jenni Hermoso has returned to Mexico to resume playing with her club team, which has pledged to help her find “normality” after the Spaniard was kissed without consent by the president of the Spanish FA after the Women’s World Cup final.
Hermoso, who plays for Pachuca in the Mexican league, arrived at dawn in Mexico City from Madrid and continued to Pachuca about 90 kilometres to the southwest, to re-join her club side. She has not made face-to-face statements to the media since the final and will maintain that position in Mexico, at least for now.
“For the moment, our player will not appear before the media, as she will be 100 per cent focused on resuming her activities and returning to normality in her day-to-day life,” the club said in a statement. “We appreciate your understanding and respect for her privacy.”
Unknown whether Hermoso will feature for Pachuca on Sunday
Pachuca are in action on Sunday against Pumas in round 10 of the Apertura tournament. It is uncertain whether Hermoso will feature..
“Jenni Hermoso has all the institutional, emotional and personal support of the Pachuca soccer club to continue her activities in the best way with the Tuzas,” the statement added.
In addition to Pachuca, the women’s Liga MX welcomed the world champion to Mexico on social media, as did other teams in the league.
The Tuzas are in 10th place among 18 teams in the first division after nine rounds.
After a long career in Europe with spells at Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, Hermoso joined Pachuca last summer. She scored 18 goals in 20 games and helped the team reach the final where they lost to club America earlier this year.
Hermoso files legal complaint over Rubiales kiss
Hermoso has filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office over the kiss by now-suspended Spanish FA chief Rubiales.
The 33-year-old gave her testimony on Tuesday and the complaint will be processed “as soon as possible”, the prosecutor added.
With the complaint, Rubiales could face criminal charges, in addition to the ongoing inquiry by Spain’s top sport court for “serious misconduct” and an investigation by FIFA, which has provisionally suspended him.
Rubiales kissed Hermoso during the awards ceremony after Spain beat England 1-0 in Sydney on August 20.
Hermoso said she did not want to be kissed, and that she felt “vulnerable and a victim of an aggression”. Hermoso also said she and her family were pressured by the federation to show support for Rubiales in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
Rubiales, who has so far refused to resign despite heavy pressure, said the kiss was “spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consensual”.
Spain’s government, players’ unions, players and many citizens have vocally supported Hermoso – but Rubiales has refused to resign.
Rubiales was suspended by FIFA on August 27 after he delivered a defiant speech to the general assembly of his federation in which he claimed he was the victim of a “witch hunt” by “false feminists.”
Regional FA leaders then called for Rubiales’ removal, while Pedro Rocha, the federation’s interim president, apologised this week for the “enormous damage” caused by his predecessor’s actions and promised organisational restructure.
That restructure is now taking place, with Jorge Vilda – the controversial coach of the women’s team who was seen applauding Rubiales during the speech in which he refused to resign – sacked on Tuesday and replaced by Montse Tome, his former assistant.
Liga F players maintain they will strike
Meanwhile, the players for Spain’s women’s league maintain they’ll go on strike rather than start the new season after salary negotiations with the league broke down on Thursday.
The AFE players union, one of five unions representing the players, said no deal had been reached because “we consider the economic proposal of the Liga F unacceptable.”
The players had announced their plan to strike last week. The season was set to kick off Friday.
The strike comes with Spain reeling from the consequences of the kiss by the president of its national soccer federation of a player without her consent after the
Women’s World Cup final. Since then, the players for Spain’s women’s national team and several dozens more have said they won’t play for their country until the federation changes leadership.
The minimum salary for the women’s league, called Liga F, is just 16,000 euros (£13,720), compared to the 182,000 euros (£156,082) guaranteed for men in La Liga.
The unions want to increase that minimum salary to 23,000 euros a year (£19,724), with the option of it reaching 25,000 euros (£21,439) if the league makes more than 8 million euros (£6,860,760m) in revenues.
The league said its best offer of 20,000 euros (£17,151), with the chance for that to reach 23,000 (£19,724) if revenues surpass 8m euros, was rejected by the players.
The strike will impact the first two rounds of play. The league opener was scheduled for Friday between Sevilla and Tenerife.